The Last Horror Blog: New 'Possession' Trailer, 'Pontypool' Sequel News, and More

The Last Horror Blog: New 'Possession' Trailer, 'Pontypool' Sequel News, and More

Jul 26, 2012

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New trailer for The Possession emerges – We’re really looking forward to Ole Bernedal’s The Possession because the trailers have looked legitimately creepy and it’s got a decent cast with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick headlining.

A new 60-second trailer for the clip turned up online this week and we’re still intrigued. Supernatural’s John Winchester taking on a demon from a Dibbuk box? We’re all in on that action. Check out the clip below – just make sure the lights are on before you start it. 

Re-Animator Blu-ray release date and details revealed – One of our favorite horror flicks from the '80s is finally coming to Blu-ray on September 4 when Image releases the latest update of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator.

The 1985 cult classic promises to look better than ever for its high-def debut, but it’s not just a looker; it comes bearing gifts as well. This collector’s set is jam-packed with extras, including the documentary Re-Animator Resurrectus, commentary from Stuart Gordon, another commentary track with producer Brian Yuzna and the cast, extended and deleted scenes, interviews and more.

The best part? You can grab this release for $17.97 on BD and a measly $9.98 on DVD. Mark your calendars, kids – the dead will rise again on September 4.

Cool music video features images from a SOV slasher film that never was -- We recently stumbled across this really cool music video for Beaujolais' song Where We Came From and wanted to share it with everyone. 

Directed by Josh Johnson, the low-fi clip (shot on a camcorder) mixes music and scenes from what appears to be a long lost shot-on-video slasher flick. The catch is that the film never existed -- although after watching this, we really wish it did. Johnson's video evokes memories of some of our favorite low-budget horror flicks -- only with less video noise and tracking issues. We especially love the cop at the end, who reminds us of Night of the Creeps' Detective Ray Cameron and Halloween's Dr. Loomis. 

Have a peek at the clip below.

Sales art for Pontypool sequel Pontypool Changes – The original Pontypool is one of our favorite genre flicks of this century. The story of a virus that spreads through speaking and makes people into bloodthirsty savages was a welcome breath of fresh air in a cinematic landscape filled with more traditional zombie flicks. So, when a sequel was announced, we were pretty excited. Then things went quiet.

Those fearing that Pontypool Changes was dead can take comfort in this new sales art for the film, which appeared at this year’s FantAsia Film Festival.  

Details about the plot are hard to come by, but producer Jeffrey Coughlan says the new script “takes a whole new side to the story and really opens it up for more action and more scares.” Consider us sold. 

Pontypool Changes sales art

Anchor Bay announces DVD details for Jennifer Lynch’s Chained – Director Jennifer Lynch’s latest feature Chained was slapped with an NC-17 rating for “explicit violence,” but the film won’t have to worry about the MPAA when it debuts on DVD and Blu-ray on October 2.

The twisted tale (which features Vincent D’Onofrio as a serial killer who raises a victim’s child as his own demented understudy) will come in standard DVD packaging or as a DVD/Blu-ray combo disc. Extras include the restoration of the scene that earned the film the dreaded NC-17 rating, full commentary from D’Onofrio and Lynch, and the original theatrical trailer.

Check out a sales reel for the film below. 

Horror Review

Hostel 3 cover art

While filmmaker Eli Roth basically said everything he had to say about xenophobia, living in a post 9/11 world, and how Americans come across when traveling abroad in his first two Hostel films, the franchise was too well-known to slink off into the annals of horror history when the second film rolled credits.

Enter Hostel Part III, which finds the nefarious Elite Hunting Club once again plying their trade – only this time they’ve moved to a new locale, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Roth’s two films were divisive affairs. Horror fans loved them for their gore, violence and copious amounts of T&A, while other folks reviled them for the role they played in launching the whole “torture porn” subgenre of films (which, again, is a horribly inaccurate descriptor). What’s undeniable is that both made money – and in the business of filmmaking, when horror films make money that means we get a sequel.

Roth is long gone by this outing (he’s since moved on to lining up tons of projects to direct without actually making any of them, it seems. I’m hoping that changes soon), and his franchise is now a direct-to-DVD affair, but while everything about Hostel III seems like a warning sign urging viewers to run away and savor the memories of the first two films, the reality is that this third entry isn’t nearly as bad as one would expect.

Roth might not be back behind the camera, but Scott Spiegel is. Spiegel is hardly a household name even amongst horror fans, but those familiar with his earlier work (which includes assisting Sam Raimi and directing the cult classic “slasher in a supermarket” film Intruder) know Spiegel is a competent and stylish director who knows what he’s doing.

Add in Michael D. Weiss’ script, which manages to be both familiar and relatively clever, and Hostel III becomes that rarest of films: the low-budget cash-in sequel that doesn’t completely destroy the magic of the earlier entries.

The beauty of Hostel III lies in the way that Weiss constantly pulls the rug out from under the viewer. At this stage of the game, anyone watching the third entry in this series already knows what to expect. A group of Americans out for wild times run into some attractive young ladies, they head somewhere off the beaten path, get abducted, and then the bad things happen. Hostel followed this formula in both films (although, the sequel flipped the script by making it girls being abducted and tortured instead of men). Weiss could have simply said “okay – we’ll take that and move it to America and call it a day…” but he didn’t. The film is stronger because of this.

Instead, Weiss gives us situations we instantly recognize and plays upon our preconceived notions. When an American wanders into a hostel and finds a sexy Eastern European female and her somewhat disturbing boyfriend, we already start filling in the blanks. When the scene concludes, nothing is as it seemed. Weiss’ screenplay does this repeatedly throughout the film, managing to make Hostel III feel both intimately familiar and refreshingly different at the same time.

Sure, the whole thing stretches the willing suspension of disbelief pretty regularly (The Elite Hunting Club runs what amounts to a “snuff casino” in Vegas. Not one person – neither employee nor patron – ever spills the beans about this?), but if you buy in and accept the occasional implausibility, the film is far more fun than expected.

The ensemble cast, headlined by Kip Pardue and Brian Hallisay, are also better than you’d expect, even if they function more like archetypes than actual people. No one’s likely to blow you away amongst this cast, but no one’s terrible either. It’s one more surprise the film throws at you.

Another surprise is the gore. By mainstream standards, Hostel III is a pretty bloody affair, but compared to the earlier entries it feels a little tame. Don’t get me wrong – there are face removals, stabbings, close-range crossbow attacks and more – but the film never quite manages to make the audience squirm in the way Roth’s films did. That seems at least partially by design – Spiegel’s film does have a slightly different tone than the previous Hostels, but those expecting anything like the Achilles tendon slicing or eyeball scene of the original will probably be disappointed.

While Hostel III might not be on quite the same level of the original films, it is surprisingly decent for a direct-to-DVD sequel – particularly when you factor in that it was made by a different filmmaker with a small budget. The title marks out its own territory by subverting expectations in a pretty interesting way, constantly keeping us off guard as it treads well-worn ground. Spiegel and Weiss deserve credit for not simply phoning it in, which is what a lot of people would have done in their position. Hostel III won’t make you forget about Roth’s films, but it does an admirable job of building on those films while laying the groundwork for future installments.

 

Horror on the Horizon

The end of July and start of August continue the drought of theatrical horror releases. There’s nothing to see here folks – literally.

Luckily, things are looking pretty good on the home video front. The week of July 31 is chock full of things worth checking out if you like the darker things in life.

Fright fans will be treated to a Bava-themed Midnight Movies triple feature showcasing Lamberto Bava’s A Blade in the Dark and Macabre, along with the late Mario Bava’s Shock. Giallo fans can feast on a triple feature set that includes Who Saw Her Die?, Short Night of the Glass Dolls and The Bloodstained Shadow. Also making its debut that week is the ludicrous looking ATM, which features characters menaced by a parka-clad killer who’s trapped them inside an ATM cubicle. Rounding out the week is HP Lovecraft’s The Whisperer in the Darkness, the latest adaptation from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, the same guys who gave us the brilliant Call of Cthulhu a few years back.

The week of August 7 isn’t nearly as good (thank god – your wallet needs time to recover, right?) but fans will be able to pick up The Boogens and the first season of NBC’s series Grimm. I gave up on Grimm after two episodes, but some people seem to really dig it. 

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