Friday, 22 December 2017

Robert Altman's IMAGES arrives on UK Blu-ray 19th March.

One of Robert Altman’s greatest masterpieces, Images is a tour de force of psychological horror. Dealing with hallucinations and apparitions, the film deftly blends reality with nightmare as Susannah York’s children’s author is terrorised by visions of mayhem and murder. 

On its release, Images reaped accolades although it has now become one of Altman’s lesser known works, so this Arrow Academy release marks the perfect time to rediscover it.

The early seventies were a period of remarkable activity for Robert Altman, producing masterpiece after masterpiece. At the time he came to make Images, MASH and McCabe & Mrs. Miller were behind him, with The Long Goodbye, California Split and Nashville still to come.

Originally conceived in the mid-sixties, Images concerns a pregnant children’s author (Susannah York, who won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival) whose husband (Rene Auberjonois) may or may not be having an affair. While holidaying in Ireland, her mental state becomes increasingly unstable resulting in paranoia, hallucinations and visions of a doppelgänger.

An examination of a mental breakdown, an exploration of the creative process or a deconstruction of narrative film. However you choose to read Images, it’s undeniable that it is one of Robert Altman’s best works. Altman’s script and direction match perfectly with Vilmos Zsigmond’s dream-like cinematography, an early haunting score by John Williams, and Susannah York’s unparalleled performance to create a disturbing, nightmarish psychological horror film.

Once thought lost after it was rumoured that the original negatives were burned by Columbia Pictures, Images is here given the release it deserves, with a brand new 4K restoration from the original - distinctly not burned - negative making the most of that stunning cinematography. 

The Blu-ray is also packed with special features to keep even the most ardent cinephile happy. A commentary and interview recorded prior to Altman’s death in 2006 are joined by brand new features such as an interview with actor Cathryn Harrison to make this a must-have for Altman devotees.

SPECIAL FEATURES

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Carmen Gray and an extract from Altman on Altman

Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release 
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
Original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM) soundtracks 
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 
Audio commentary by Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger 
Scene-select commentary by writer-director Robert Altman 
Interview with Robert Altman 
Brand new interview with actor Cathryn Harrison 
An appreciation by musician and author Stephen Thrower 
Theatrical trailer 
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil

Pre-order the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk


Netflix renews German original series DARK for a second series.

Netflix has renewed its first German original production, DARK, for a second series. The acclaimed drama created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese has resonated with audiences in Germany and around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France among other countries. DARK, a family saga with a supernatural twist, is now one of the most-watched entirely non-English shows on Netflix, a German series that transcends borders to connect with audiences in every country.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals for Netflix, said: "When we first heard about DARK, we realized very early on that we hadn’t seen anything like this show before -- in Germany or anywhere else in the world. DARK is a testament that great storytelling transcends geography. We’re excited that our members around the globe are captivated by the mysterious world of Winden, and will now be able to continue to see how the story unfolds.”

Showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese about the audience reception and the renewal of season two added: “We are overwhelmed by the response to DARK and are thrilled that our story has been a success with a global audience. Viewers have been captivated by the secrets of our protagonists and have taken delight in unravelling the various puzzles that the story presents. To know that we will now embark on our next journey is, for us showrunners, a dream come true. And our fans can be sure that we have plenty of surprises in store for the second series of DARK.”

Producer Quirin Berg concludes: “Jantje Friese, Baran Bo Odar, our wonderful actors and our fantastic team have put an incredible amount of energy into making DARK a unique and gripping series. We thank all of those who have accompanied us on this path. And we thank Netflix for their trust and for the excellent cooperation. We are extremely happy that DARK has by now received such an overwhelming response, both in Germany and around the world, and we are particularly thrilled about the quick decision by Netflix to take it into a second season. We can hardly wait to continue telling the story!”

For more information visit: netflix.com/dark
 
 

HOUSE OF SALEM comes to US VOD this Jan.

The Devil Has A New Playground. Don’t Breathe meets You’re Next in writer-director James Crow’s ‘’brooding and compelling horror with a crime thriller twist”* HOUSE OF SALEM, premiering on US VOD this January from Wild Eye Releasing.

A group of kidnappers become a child's unlikely protectors after discovering they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a satanic ritual. As they begin to uncover the truth of the house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces and uncover a legacy of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Devil.

Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson and Liam Kelly star in HOUSE OF SALEM,
on US VOD 23/01/18 from Wild Eye Releasing.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

"Cannibal" - First Look poster released!

Indian Film maker Faisal Saif, after his controversial horror Islamic Exorcist, comes up with yet another horror entitled Cannibal. Saif revealed the film's official poster on Facebook with the line of being the most 'Disgusting' horror film you will ever see.

"I was always fascinated by the idea of making an Exploitation Horror by keeping the female antagonist in the center. I remember approaching Meir Zarchi 2 years back for carrying forward the tribute legacy of I Spit On Your Grave in my own way with a different script, but Zarchi wasn't interested. I moved on and came across a True Shocking Event of Cannibalism and i kept researching it more and more. I am confident viewers will be more scared than I Spit On Your Grave". said Faisal Saif.

Cannibal is co-written by Tom Stoops and produced by John Reign (Exorcism of 7th Demon, Blood Woods) for Pole Star Studios and it stars Kavita Radheshyam (Islamic Exorcist), Michael Parle (Demon Hunter), Allie Marshall, Brandy Reign, Dawna Lee Heising.

The principal photography will begin next year in summer on the locations of New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Visit the Official Facebook page:

FrightFest & Glasgow Film Festival send out challenge to aspiring Scottish filmmakers

FrightFest, in association with Glasgow Film Festival, are delighted to announce an exciting new initiative to discover the next wave of emerging Scottish talent.


FrightFest has always championed new film-makers since its inception in 2000. Now, for the very first time they are encouraging talent to rise to the challenge of creating an entertaining film within just 90 seconds.

The winning shorts will be screened both at the Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow Film Festival event, held at the Glasgow Film Theatre on the 2nd/3rd March 2018 and FrightFest’s London event in August 2018.

The rules for submission are that films should be no longer than 90 seconds and be in the Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction or Fantasy genres. Films must be shot in Scotland by Scottish residents and entries must not currently be available online. All submissions are free and must be received by Tuesday 13th February 2018.  Filmmakers of entries selected to be screened will be notified by 23rd February 2018.

Can you make a short film scary or surprising in 90 seconds? The challenge is ON!

FrightFest Co-Director Paul McEvoy said today: "The FrightFest event at the Glasgow Film Festival is always one of the highlights of the FrightFest cinematic year. For our 2018 event we are thrilled to announce our 90 SECOND CHALLENGE. We hope to discover new and vivid film talent from Scotland and to give the winning creators significant exposure to our international audience.”

Allison Gardner, Programme Director / GFF Co-Director added: “FrightFest is always a major part of the Glasgow Film Festival and we’re delighted to be able to work with them to support the Scottish horror maestros of the future. We’re looking forward to seeing what spine-tingling mini-masterpieces our talented local filmmakers come up with and screening them on the big screen at GFT as part of the 2018 festival”.

To enter please visit www.frightfest.co.uk

Follow..


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

CANNIBAL FARM opens for slicing and dicing Jan 2

Scare season starts early in 2018 with High Octane Pictures’ Cannibal Farm, open for slicing and dicing from January 2 on US VOD!

From filmmaker Charlie Steeds and starring Kate Marie Davies, Barrington De La Roche, David Lenik, Rowena Bentley, Toby Wynn-Davies, and Peter Cosgrove, a terrifying, bloody lattice of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th and two gallons of two stroke!

The Harver family head out on an idyllic summer camping trip where they can bury past tensions and enjoy some family bonding. But when their camp is sabotaged by an unseen intruder in the night, they head to the nearby creepy old farm desperate for help, where vengeful farmer Hunt Hansen and his hideously deformed son aren't farming animals... 

This January, fight to survive or get eaten alive! Cannibal Farm on US VOD January 2 from High Octane Pictures.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Monday, 18 December 2017

MORTAL ENGINES - Teaser Trailer

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved in MORTAL ENGINES, checkout the new teaser trailer below...



Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns.  Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar).  Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.  

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong).  Joining Rivers are Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay.  

The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic. 

MORTAL ENGINES comes to UK cinemas December 2018.



 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Horror Channel brings in New Year with Wes Craven season

Throughout January, Saturday nights at 9pm will be devoted to a WES CRAVEN SEASON as Horror Channel presents a retrospective of the late great genre director’s career. Four of his supernatural shockers and scream-filled slashers wlll be broadcast, including the network premieres of serial killer chiller MY SOUL TO TAKE, his macabre masterpiece THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, his diabolically electrifying SHOCKER and the goofy, gory satire THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS.


There are also network premieres for Franck Khalfoun‘s superior psychological horror MANIAC, starring Elijah Wood as a scalp-loving serial killer, David S. Goyer’s pulsating possession thriller THE UNBORN, starring Gary Oldman and Hammer Films’ powerfully eerie Vampire tale THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE.

WES CRAVEN SEASON

Sat 6 Jan @ 21:00 – THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988) *Network Premiere


Horror master Wes Craven directs this chilling supernatural thriller, based on the best-selling book by Wade Davis, about a Harvard researcher (Bill Pullman) who travels to Haiti to procure a secret voodoo powder that places people into a state of simulated death. His investigation into the hidden world of black magic grows increasingly dangerous until he is caught in a living nightmare.


Sat 13 Jan @ 21:00 – SHOCKER (1989) *Network Premiere


 Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), a psychotic TV repairman sentenced to death for a series of sick and brutal murders, is executed by the electric chair. However, having made a deal with the devil before his death, he has now transformed into an evil energy source capable of travelling through electrical currents and creeping out of TV sets to hack small town America into tiny, little pieces.


Sat 20 Jan @ 21:00 – THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991) *Network TV Premiere

 

 With the hopes of stealing a stash of gold, 13-year-old Fool (Brandon Adams) breaks into his landlords’ creepy house with two friends. Things soon go horribly wrong as the trio finds they can’t get out! Soon the landlords (Everett McGill and Wendy Robie) return, and Fool and his friends uncover a horrible secret: cages of deformed children kept in captivity under the stairs!


Sat 27 Jan @ 21:00 – MY SOUL TO TAKE (2010) *Network Premiere



In the small town of Riverton, a local legend tells of a serial killer's oath to come back and kill the seven children who were born on the night he supposedly died. Now, sixteen years later, Riverton residents are disappearing again, and some wonder if the legend is true. Bug (Max Thieriot), plagued by nightmares all his life, is one of the so-called ‘Riverton Seven’, and it's up to him to save his friends from an evil that will not rest.

OTHER FILM PREMIERES

Fri 12 Jan @ 21:00 – THE UNBORN (2009) *Network Premiere


Sometimes the soul of a dead person has been so tainted with evil that it is denied entrance to heaven. It must endlessly wander the borderlands between worlds, desperately searching for a new body to inhabit. And sometimes it actually succeeds. Writer/director David S. Goyer and producer Michael Bay give a terrifying glimpse into the life of the undead in this supernatural thriller starring Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet, Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman and Idris Elba.


Fri 19 Jan @ 23:05 – MANIAC (2012) *Network Premiere


Just when the downtown Los Angeles streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back on the hunt. Frank (Elijah Wood) is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna (Nora Arnezeder) appears asking for his help with her new photo exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, it becomes clear she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.


Fri 19 Jan @ 22:50 – THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (1963) *Network Premiere


Honeymooning in Bavaria, Gerald (Edward de Souza) and Marianne Harcourt (Jennifer Daniel) experience car trouble and are forced to seek refuge in a remote village. Doctor Ravna (Noel Willman), owner of an impressive chateau that sits imposingly above the village, invites them to dinner and the couple are persuaded to go. Their association with Ravna and his charming beautiful family is to prove disastrous as they become unwittingly embroiled with a company of vampires who seek to initiate them into their diabolical creed.
  
TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 / Freeview 70

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Shop Smart, Shop Fright-Rags for Exclusive EVIL DEAD Merchandise

Shop smart, shop Fright-Rags for exclusive Evil Dead merchandise! Joining the company's already impressive collection of Evil Dead trilogy apparel is a new enamel pin, two pairs of socks, and two pairs of lounge pants.


Fright-Rags worked with Evil Dead franchise effects artist Tom Sullivan to design the Necronomicon enamel pin. It folds open to reveal Sullivan's original artwork within, just like the real Book of the Dead. Custom-knit socks feature the classic Evil Dead 2 skull artwork or the S-Mart logo. Lounge pants are available in two styles: one featuring a collage of Evil Dead 2 imagery and another with the Evil Dead 2 skull. These ultra-comfy pants feature pockets and come in S-XL but are stretchy to fit all shapes and sizes.

Just in time for the holidays, Fright-Rags has new Silent Night, Deadly Night apparel. Joel Robinson's vibrant artwork - as featured on Scream Factory's new Blu-ray edition of the film - is available on T-shirts, baseball tees, and hoodies, in addition to a reprint of a classic design by Justin Osbourn. Stock is running low on these items.


In celebration of the release of Another WolfCop, Fright-Rags has created two WolfCop shirts. Designed by Coki Greenway and Nathan Thomas Milliner, these tees will make you believe that you're half man, half wolf, all cop.


Merchandise from the Evil Dead trilogy, Silent Night Deadly Night, and WolfCop is on sale now at Fright-Rags.com

Domestic orders (US) placed by December 17 are guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas.

 

Final trailer for Netflix BRIGHT released.

Check out the climatic final trailer for Bright, which features the hot new single "Crown” from Camila Cabello and musical duo, Grey.


This new song will also be included on Bright: The Album available on December 15th. Bright will be available on Netflix starting December 22nd, 2017.  

Set in an alternate present-day, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, writer of Training Day) follows two cops from very different backgrounds (Ward, a human played by Will Smith, and Jakoby, an orc played by Joel Edgerton) who embark on a routine patrol night that will ultimately alter the future as their world knows it.  Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.

The Netflix film stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Andrea Navedo, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Margaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Dawn Oliveri, and Kenneth Choi.  The film is directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis.

Visit Bright on Netflix.  

Visit the social media pages onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Asylum of Fear - trailer released.

Horror/thriller "Asylum of Fear" is being released worldwide this January, and the film makers have just released the official trailer...


When a team of paranormal investigators are hired to inspect a soon-to-be demolished mental institution, they discover horrifying clues that reveal the cause of a violent massacre by an insane doctor in the 1960's. 

"Asylum of Fear" will be available Digitally, and on DVD and BD  from January 9th.

For more info visit..

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asylumoffear/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AsylumofFear 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asylumoffearmovie/
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3289080/



Monday, 11 December 2017

PSYCHO Documentary 78/52 - out on DVD today

To celebrate the DVD release of the “captivating” Psycho Documentary 78/52, distributers Dogwoof are releasing a new clip from the DVD extras featuring the legendary editor Walter Murch discussing the legacy of the infamous shower scene.

Watch it below...


 
Featuring interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Marli Renfro - body double for Janet Leigh in PSYCHO, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley and many more. 

An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, the 'Man behind the Curtain', and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema. 78/52 references the number of set-ups (78) and the number of cuts (52) in the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. One entire week out of the four weeks scheduled to shoot PSYCHO -- a full quarter of the film’s production schedule -- was dedicated to the infamous shower scene. 


Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk

 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

FIRST TRAILER - Alita: Battle Angel

Twentieth Century Fox have revealed the first look at James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL with the release of the very first trailer. 


Rosa Salazar stars as Alita, a cyborg with a forgotten past, found and brought back to life by cyber-doctor Ido (Christoph Waltz). Based on the manga series by Yukito Kishiro, ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL also stars Keean Johnson, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali and Jackie Earle Haley and showcases the talents of WETA Workshop. 

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL will arrive in UK cinemas JULY 20, 2018.

Visit the films official Facebook page. 



Death House, Puppet Master, & Sleepaway Camp apparel available from Terror Threads.

With the holidays right around the corner, Terror Threads is making shopping easy for horror fans. The company has new apparel from Death House, Puppet Master, and Sleepaway Camp.

Terror Threads has released a pair of Death House designs on T-shirts and baseball tees. The highly-anticipated horror film stars genre icons Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Barbara Crampton, Tony Todd, Michael Berryman, Felissa Rose, and Adrienne Barbeau.


Terror Threads also has a variety of designs dedicated to the long-running Puppet Master franchise. Fan favorite puppets Blade, Six Shooter, Leech Woman, Jester, and Pinhead each receive their own shirt, plus a design featuring all of them.

Last but certainly not least, Terror Threads' faux-knit Christmas sweater-style designs featuring Puppet Master and Sleepaway Camp make the perfect holiday party wardrobe.

Death House, Puppet Master, and Sleepaway Camp merchandise is on sale now at TerrorThreads.com, where you'll also find apparel and accessories from many more horror classics.


Friday, 8 December 2017

British Zombie Horror THE RIZEN comes to US VOD Jan

Laura Swift (The Snowman), Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones series), Bruce Payne (Warlock III, Passenger 57), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Lucy), Tom Goodman Hill (Everest) and comedy legend Adrian Edmondson (The Young Ones, Bottom, The Comic Strip Presents) star in writer-director Matt Mitchell’s (Gangster's Guns and Zombies) “fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining”* action-horror THE RIZEN, invading US VOD this January from Uncork’d Entertainment.

The year is 1955. NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. 

They have finally succeeded, but what they have unleashed could tear our world apart. Now one woman must lead the only other two survivors past faceless horrors that threaten to kill or capture them at every turn. They are the only ones left who can fight to close a door that should never have been opened.

 THE RIZEN is available on US VOD from January 2 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

View the trailer on YouTube.

COLD MOON starring Christopher Lloyd - Out 22nd Jan 2018

In a sleepy southern town, a young girl disappears – but all hopes of finding her alive are soon shattered by the discovery of a body in the river. But the end of the search is just the beginning of a waking nightmare. 

Traffic lights blink an eerie warning, a ghostly visage prowls in the streets, and graves erupt from the local cemetery in an implacable march of terror. Beneath the murky surface of the river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form to seek a terrible vengeance…

Based on the novel 'Cold Moon Over Babylon' by Michael McDowell, writer of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Cold Moon is an eerie tale of murder, manipulation and vengeance from beyond the grave. 

Featuring a strong central performance from Josh Stewart (The Collector) and a terrifying turn by Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, I Am Not a Serial Killer) this is the perfect film to give you chills on a winter’s night.

Cold moon is released to UK DVD January 22nd from Bulldog films.

Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

First images released from Netflix's ALTERED CARBON

Coming to Netflix February 2nd, ALTERED CARBONBased on the classic cyberpunk noir novel by Richard K. Morgan. Checkout the first stills released from the series....






Altered Carbon is an intriguing story of murder, love, sex, and betrayal, set more than 300 years in the future. Society has been transformed by new technology: consciousness can be digitized; human bodies are interchangeable; death is no longer permanent. Takeshi Kovacs is the lone surviving soldier in a group of elite interstellar warriors who were defeated in an uprising against the new world order. His mind was imprisoned, “on ice”, for centuries until Laurens Bancroft, an impossibly wealthy, long-lived man, offers Kovacs the chance to live again. In exchange, Kovacs has to solve a murder … that of Bancroft himself.



For more information visit: the Netflix Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. 


 


THE LESSON Director Ruth Platt, talks about quitting RADA, torture porn and what the future holds

On the eve of Horror Channel’s network premiere screening of THE LESSON, director Ruth Platt talks about the decision to quit RADA, why her film  isn’t ‘torture porn’ and what the future holds


Q) The Lesson received its World Premiere at FrightFest. How did you react when it was chosen? And what was the experience like?

I was really excited when I found out we'd been picked – we got a call from the team, and they were passionate about the film, and they are such a knowledgable and experienced small team, Greg, Paul, Alan and Ian, and it meant so much. Especially when the making of it had been such an arduous and difficult process! I had no idea how people would react to the film – it was such a tiny budget, and put together on sheer determination rather than any actual means. But the whole FrightFest festival was amazing – the fans were so supportive and friendly, and the reception to the film was so generous, it was a really brilliant experience.

Q) How did you develop the idea for the film? Did your own experiences at school influence the story?

So my love of the horror genre stems from the satirical, metaphorical nature of the genre – how you can make a comment or observation about society, or about human nature, through the lens of horror – it is quite an expressionistic and stylised way of looking at the world, but quite a cathartic one, exorcising your deepest concerns, fears, and anger, I think! I have done a bit of teaching, though only peripatetic. I wasn't trying to exorcise my real desires to torture students, as some people might think! It was more an observation on the educational system and its failures, and also a psychological study of class dynamics, stemming also from my experiences at school.

The teacher role was inspired by two things - there was a teacher I had at school, and the class just knew, subconsciously and collectively, that we could push him further than we could push the average teacher. There was an innate vulnerability to him, a fear of us, if you like, that allowed the class to behave in a much more difficult way. My film was a bit of a 'what if' scenario – what if that teacher we locked in the cupboard snapped? There was an article I read a few years back about a teacher who did just that, without any history of violence or bad conduct – and who harmed a teenage boy at school badly. That was my second inspiration. The two ideas together created Mr Gale.

Q) The violence in the film is mostly inflicted by a school teacher on two 16 year-old schoolboys. Do you think this makes it even more controversial and difficult to watch?

I think, and I did worry beforehand, that people would take it literally, It is meant to be a deliberate satire on the torture porn genre. It has moral ambiguity and complexity, certainly, I mean hopefully, and those that like the film seem to get this, your sympathies keep changing to and fro, from the teacher to the kids. Mr Gale gets his comeuppance!. I think The Lesson is pretty measured violence-wise – you look at 15 films like The Babysitter and Deadpool and my god, the violence, and it is so slick, so easy. That makes me uncomfortable. The violence in The Lesson is hopefully earned, and deliberately difficult to watch. There is no easy, shiny violence.

Q) What lessons do you want people to take from the film?

Ha! Well, I guess I want people to think about the education system, where its failings lie, how a school is a microcosm of society, and without an all encompassing and deep rooted culture of mutual respect, responsibility and kindness, it can go badly wrong. But I didn't want to do that in a straightforward way, but rather through the horror lens. Some people seem to find it really cathartic to see these difficult kids tortured which is a bit disconcerting! I guess films like Fritz Lang's M are pertinent and influential – that moral ambiguity certainly – the scene where all the criminals in the area capture this mentally ill, but hideous child murderer, and they are relishing the power they have in their kangaroo court – the hypocrisy and the savagery of all of them. Reminds me of Social Media!

Q) The film has been described many ways, ranging from “Kitchen-sink torture porn” to “bravura art-house horror”. How would you describe it?

Satirical anti-torture porn? Though I love the kitchen-sink bit and the art house bit obviously!

Q) The casting is particularly brave, allowing young unknowns to flourish and excel. How difficult was the audition process?

Well – I had the tiniest budget so there was no casting director involved. All the kids were local, untrained kids. They were brilliant actually. They started with loads of stagey acting, and then I had to strip it down – they got it so quickly though and loved the process. I knew Evan already [who plays Fin] as I had already cast him in a music video – he was so hardworking and conscientious. I was lucky enough to go into a local college and have an audition with the young people studying Drama there. Rory [who plays Joel] shone immediately – he took my direction, and his truth of thought and quickness of mind was evident straight away in improvisations. I was lucky to find him – about a week before shooting! Mischa I cast very last minute too, I auditioned her on skype after we had started shooting! She was a drama student at the Prague conservatoire.  She was very natural and very lovely – and just astonishingly beautiful, I thought. Her separateness and her measured silence to me was indicative of what it is to be a woman in a man's society. She of course, is Fin's knight in shining armour, at the end of the day, but she is vulnerable, she has to compromise to survive. I thought Mischa had a beautiful stillness that was very watchable.

Q) You’ve been a successful actor yourself, having won a scholarship to train at RADA. But is it true you left in your second year to start up a theatre company? And will we see you tread the boards again?

Well I wasn't that successful! I adored acting, but I was a very insecure person as an actor. I remember being called to an audition, by my agent, for a music video, and asked by 3 men to lap dance on a chair. I wished I had just told them to fuck off. But I didn't – I needed to pay the rent, and didn't want to annoy my agent. So I did it. That happened a lot. As an actress you have to have an innate confidence that I really didn't have. I absolutely adored RADA, and as soon as I left, I realised what an idiot I had been to leave in my second year.  I fell into a deep depression – I was utterly broke, I had given up a scholarship, my mother was very ill, it all went wrong. I rang them and begged them to take me back but they had given my scholarship to someone else, and I couldn't afford to go back. But it was during my experiences forming a theatre company that I started to realise that I loved writing and later, when I found my confidence, directing.

What I adore about directing is being able to guide an actor through each thought process, each moment of subtext, each emotional beat and each character trait, and I can do that because of my actor training. That is a really rewarding experience, and it is why I also enjoy working with new, untrained actors. Being an actor I think is terrifying – you are so vulnerable, and especially as an actress, I mean I know it is getting better but sexism and harrassment is rife, absolutely endemic, though it has now suddenly exploded into the public consciousness and will probably now improve. But you really need to have balls of steel.

Q) Who are your strongest influences in the horror genre and what’s been your favourite horror film this year?

‘Haneke's ‘Funny Games’ [the original German language one] is my favourite horror film of all time. I guess that is what inspired my anti-torture porn premise. The violence in that film could not be more uncomfortable and less gratuitous to watch – Haneke is a genius. A close second, though not usually classified as a genre film, is Yorgos Lanthimos' ‘Dogtooth’. One of the most brilliant, piercing satires I have ever seen. I adore ‘Nosferatu’, and Fritz Lang's ‘M’.

This year, I loved ‘Raw’, which I  I think it is one of the greatest female horror films of all time - the central metaphor of an impossibly high-achieving girl, with the absolute rigid self discipline, that starts to discover her emerging sexuality and rage – so bloody, sharply funny. And the cinematography – I’m in awe of it!

Q) Finally, what can you tell us about your next project?

I have been in development with the BFI for a year now, so hoping to shoot something next year! It is a horror, but one that has a very detailed, socio-realistic world. And the whole thing is through the eyes of a child. It is also a largely female cast. Looking forward to making it so much, so wish me luck! 


 The Lesson is broadcast on Sat 9 Dec, 10.45pm, Horror Channel.

Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 / Freeview 70
www.horrorchannel.co.uk | twitter.com/horror_channel | facebook.com/horrorchannel


THE PLAYGROUND - on US VOD Dec 8th

A provincial town in Poland. The final day of school. A seemingly normal day in life of three ordinary elementary school students. This day however eventually culminates in shocking and terrifying events.

From writer-director Bartosz M. Kowalski comes a disturbing and captivating portrait of teen violence that’s taken the world by storm.

Final day of school in a small Polish town. It's the very last chance for 12-Year-Old Gabrysia to tell her classmate that she had fallen in love with him. She sets up a secret meeting and blackmails her love interest to show up. 

But what was supposed to be an intimate talk spins out of control and this seemingly normal day in life of three ordinary elementary school students culminates in shocking and terrifying events.

Uncork’d Entertainment releases terrifying true story The Playground onto US  VOD 8th Dec.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Netflix Series DARK - New Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Watch this behind-the-scenes featurette for an in-depth look at DARK, now available on Netflix


DARK is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In ten, hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that ties back to the same town in 1986.
 
Written by Jantje Friese and directed Baran bo Odar (Who Am I - No System is Safe), DARK is a chilling mystery-drama-series: an intricate puzzle full of twists. Slick camerawork and realistic performances enhance a textured web of curious characters, all of whom have a connection to the town's troubled history, whether they know it or not.
 
 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

"Leatherface" - UK Digital/DVD review

These Texas Chainsaw Massacre films get increasingly confusing, so far we've had 3 original sequels, a remake, a prequel to the remake, another sequel to the original and now we have a prequel to the original, "Leatherface", which shares the same title as one of the sequels. Which is released digitally this month and comes to UK DVD January.

Taking place some 20 years before the events of the original movie, the daughter of the local sheriff is "accidentally" killed after wandering onto the Sawyer family farmstead. Notwithstanding, the Sheriff returns the favour by having the young Sawyer children taken into protective care.  

Having spent years residing at a mental health facility, when a riot breaks out, the Sawyer kids seize their chance and escape with another group of inmates, taking a nurse with them as hostage. But the group are ruthlessly pursued by the veangeful Sheriff who's really not interested in recapturing them and simply wants to dish out his own brand of justice, southern style. 

So, the fate of the young nurse lies between sticking with the escapees, who will probably kill her eventually, or trying to get away and hoping the Sheriff doesn't mistake her for one of the inmates and killing her himself.

Extremely reminiscent of "The Devil's Rejects", which in turn was based on the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", I found "Leatherface" to be an entertaining enough slasher movie, which boasts a pleasing amount of gore and a good cast, which includes Stephen Dorff (Blade), Christopher Adamson (Judge Dredd, Pirates of the Carribean) and Lili Taylor (The Conjuring). But was left feeling a little confused about the plot and how exactly this ties in with the original film.

Extras on the DVD include...

Behind the Bloody Mask : Making of feature (12:50)
Six deleted scenes, which includes an alternate opening and ending.

The DVD is released January 8th. But if you can't wait that long, it's available on Digital Download from January 10th if you fancy watching some gore and nastiness over the festive period!

Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk 

 
 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Dark comedy SPENT in US cinemas Dec 15

SPENT, the award-winning new dark comedy from writer-director Lisa Mikitarian, hits theaters and VOD December 15 from Indie Rights.

Winner Best Comedy at the American Filmatic Arts Awards, SPENT is a tale of greed, love, and most of all...rat poison.

Ruthless People meets Fargo in a delicious homage to ‘40s dark comedy about a wife and son that live it up while their miser-rat of a husband/father lies in a hospital bed--death by brain tumor imminent. It's all fun and games until he experiences a miraculous 4th of July recovery.

SPENT, featuring “a great story with good direction melded with the right cast and crew”*, opens December 15 in LA theaters and on VOD.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Binding - Available on UK Digital from 18th Dec

A young woman's faith is put to the ultimate test when she is forced to uncover the truth behind her husband's horrific visions in "The Binding", which comes to UK digital outlets in December.

Sarah (Amy Gumenick - TV's Arrow, Supernatural) and Bram Iman (Josh Heisler - The Bannen Way) are picture-perfect small town newlyweds. But the night after their baby's baptism, Bram confesses to Sarah that he was visited by God almighty himself. 

When it becomes clear that Bram thinks he must sacrifice their only child for the greater good. Sarah's faith and trust in her husband is shaken and she no longer knows what to believe in and who to trust. 

With her world torn apart, Sarah embarks on a desperate race for the truth - could Bram really be communing with God, or is he spiralling into violent insanity? Sarah soon learns she has no choice but to fight to the death... but for who? Her husband? Her Faith? Or her child?

"The Binding" is available to watch on Digital Download from 18th Dec.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

IT comes to Disc and Digital January

You’ll float too when “IT” arrives onto 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray Steelbook (exclusive to HMV), and Digital Download from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. 

New Line Cinema’s blockbuster horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.

SYNOPSIS

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

 “IT” stars Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant,” TV’s “Hemlock Grove”) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”), Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut.

The 4K Ultra HD disc of “IT” will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the colour palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimise the picture for every screen — frame by frame.

Also, the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray™ discs of “IT” will feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“IT” 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray Steelbook contain the following special features

-Pennywise Lives! -  Who and what is Pennywise the Clown? Discover how Bill Skarsgård prepared to portray the primordial creature known as the Eater of Worlds, Eater of Children and the Eternal Child.
-The Losers’ Club - Get up close and personal with the teenage stars of “IT” as they bond together during the production, brave their deepest fears and come face-to-face with the demonic Pennywise.
-Author of Fearer - The Master of Horror unleashes everything you were ever afraid of! Stephen King himself reveals the roots of his best-selling novel, the nature of childhood fear, its effects on his storytelling and the powerful imprint It has made on his own literary universe.
-Deleted Scenes – Eleven deleted or extended scenes from the film

“IT” DVD contains the following special features:

-Deleted Scenes – Eleven deleted or extended scenes from the film

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On 1 January 2018, “IT” will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices. On 15 January 2018, “IT” will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

Pre-order the UK 4k UHD Disc from Amazon.co.uk

Pre-order the BD from Amazon.co.uk

Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk