Teaser trailer for Icelandic found footage film Frost online – It seems like everyone and their brother is shooting a found footage horror film these days and a lot of them aren’t all that great. Perhaps things will change with the debut of Frost – an Icelandic offering that will inevitably draw comparisons to The Thing. Let’s just hope it’s more like Carpenter’s version than the tepid prequel of last year…
Here’s the official plot breakdown:
A young couple, physiologist Agla and filmmaker Gunnar wake up at a glacier drilling camp only to find the camp mysteriously abandoned and their co-workers gone. When searching for the lost team they realize they're up against an unknown, deadly force.
No word on when we might see Frost here in the States, but check out the teaser below and see what you think.
Rondo Awards winners announced – After months of voting and consideration, the tenth annual Rondo Awards have been given out – and some of the winners may surprise you.
With over 30 categories, the Rondos celebrate the best of horror and the fantastic in a number of mediums – everything from best horror host (Elvira) to best website (our friends at Dread Central), these all encompassing awards have a category for everything and everyone.
Some of the highlights of this year include Rise of the Planet of the Apes winning the Best Movie award, Criterion’s Island of Lost Souls winning in the Best Classic DVD category, and The Walking Dead: Save the Last One taking top honors in the Television voting.
We can’t list all the winners here, but click this link to see the full list. Congrats to the victors for a job well done.
Abigail Breslin headlines Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter – Abigail Breslin is a busy girl these days. She’s part of the upcoming adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, and some darker turns in titles like The Hive and The Class Project.
Not content to stop there, the young actress is set to team up with Splice director Vincenzo Natali to star in the upcoming horror feature Haunter. Billed as a “reverse ghost story”, Haunter focuses on Breslin’s character – a young woman who’s haunting her former home in order to save her”present day living counterpart” from some sort of danger.
We’re not totally blown away by the premise, but we like Natali’s work – so we’ll withhold judgment until we see some trailers and preview for the finished film.
Demons 3 comic preview – With Lamberto Bava’s Demons and Demons 2 now on Blu-ray, this seems like a perfect time for a comic book version of Demons 3, right? Lucky for us, such a thing is in the works – and Dread Central has a preview.
While there have been countless Italian horror films called Demons 3 over the years (including Bava’s The Ogre, Michele Soavi’s The Church, and Umberto Lenzi’s Black Demons), none have been true sequels to Bava and Argento’s beloved gore-fests. This comic looks to change that by telling a tale of Nostradamus and his attempt to stop the demonic apocalypse.
The book is due to hit retailers later this month, but check out the cover art below and then swing by Dread Central for several preview pages (WARNING – the pages are Not Safe For Work).
When Lucky McKee’s The Woman debuted at last year’s Sundance, it quickly became one of the most hotly debated films of the festival. McKee teamed up with author Jack Ketchum to create this harrowing sequel to Ketchum’s novels Offseason and Offspring (both adapted for screen – although Offseason still hasn’t had an official debut to my knowledge), but rather than continue down the narrative path of those earlier books (inbred cannibals in the Maine woods feast on the local citizenry), McKee and Ketchum turn things on their ear. Given that these two men are fantastically gifted when it comes to creating genuinely horrifying tales of terror, it’s no surprise that The Woman upset a lot of people.
One person was particularly outraged after the Sundance screening – and stood up and lambasted Sundance, McKee, and everyone involved with the creation of The Woman. If I were Lucky McKee or Jack Ketchum, I’d think this was the most perfect reaction possible – because it validates their work and proves that The Woman is 100% successful in what it sets out to do.
In a land filled with tired remakes and poorly conceived horror sequels, The Woman is a less-than-subtle reminder that horror cinema isn’t really about jump scares and cheesy slasher villains. Great horror looks to subvert things, to dig beneath the surface of normality and show us a dark and seedy underbelly that we often would rather ignore. Great horror makes us confront things about ourselves, our neighbors, and our beliefs. It’s not always pleasant, but no one ever promised that life was all about rainbows and lollipops in the first place.
Anyone who’s familiar with McKee and Ketchum’s previous work probably had a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Woman. Ketchum’s fiction is brutal stuff – filled with lean, economical prose where truly horrifying things happen to good (and bad) people. Much of the author’s work is filled with an undercurrent of disturbing sexual tension that feels right at home with the carnage.
McKee, meanwhile, has avoided mainstream Hollywood success in order to stay true to his own thematic concerns. The director’s horror films have an obvious and intriguing feminist slant, starting with May and evolving with each subsequent production. That continues in The Woman, but it’s the merging of McKee and Ketchum’s distinctive, yet oddly complementary, styles that elevates the film above most of what passes for horror to Hollywood.
Offspring’s Pollyana McIntosh returns as the title character, the “mother” of a brood of inbred savages stalking Maine’s lush forests. After the events at the end of the previous film, her family has been decimated – so rather than craft another tale of unfortunate locals becoming the main course, Ketchum and McKee flip the idea on its ear.
McIntosh – used to being the hunter – becomes the prey when she’s spotted by mild-mannered lawyer Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers). Cleek captures McIntosh and locks her up in the basement – telling his timid wife and daughter (Angela Bettis and Lauren Ashley Carter) and potentially sociopathic son that they’re going to “fix her.”
You can probably guess where the fixing leads – and it’s not pleasant. As Chris and his son get deeper into this situation, everything in the Cleek household begins to unravel – and Chris’ true character is revealed.
It’s interesting to note that The Woman is technically a sequel to Offspring, yet it hews much closer to another classic Ketchum novel-turned-film, The Girl Next Door. Both films feature a woman chained up in a basement, subjected to some rather unpleasant torture and sex and the hands of supposedly “civilized” people. Unlike The Girl Next Door, though, McIntosh’s character isn’t entirely innocent (she’s killed people, practiced cannibalism, and kidnapped babies, after all). This is an interesting new wrinkle in that it makes it hard to root for anyone in The Woman – especially if you’re familiar with the character from the previous stories.
Of course, the film doesn’t always work – there’s a last act reveal that comes from out of left field and doesn’t work in the way Ketchum and McKee hoped, and while McIntosh is absolutely brilliant as the title character, the film’s other women seem lesser in comparison. Perhaps this is because McIntosh is so good as the feral monster, but for whatever reason, the rest of the female characters feel at least a little flat.
Those are the only major negatives one can level at The Woman, though – well, that and the fact that it’s a fairly brutal and unpleasant film guaranteed to upset those with delicate sensibilities. McKee and Ketchum collaborating seems like a match made in Hell – the two men complement each other in ways I didn’t expect going in, but I want more of it now that I’ve seen how their work fits together. Neither talent is interested in making safe or predictable genre fare. These are two men who want to make horror films that hit the audience in uncomfortable places – which is something this field needs desperately.
Horror on the Horizon
There’s only one major theatrical horror release in the coming weeks, but it’s a doozy – the highly anticipated Cabin in the Woods. The Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon production was supposed to be out ages ago, but after numerous delays, audiences can finally experience what critics are hailing as one of those most impressive genre films to emerge in quite some time when it rolls into theaters on Friday, April 13th.
Not much to report on the DVD/Blu-ray front in the coming weeks, either. April 9th sees the Blu-ray debut of Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2, the slightly less awesome sequel to his classic spaghetti gore-fest Demons.
April 16th features a PAL release of William Lustig’s classic Maniac Cop, while the 17th sees the arrival of Xavier Gens’ The Divide – which didn’t exactly earn rave reviews, but does feature Michael Biehn. We’re always down for films with Biehn in leading roles.