The latest Shudder Original, The Beach House from writer/director Jeffrey A. Brown, is on the horizon and we have our first look at a trailer and poster. The synopsis for the film from Shudder is as follows…
Escaping to a family’s beach house to reconnect, Emily and Randall find their off-season trip interrupted by Mitch and Jane Turner, an older couple acquainted with Randall’s estranged father. Unexpected bonds form as the couples let loose and enjoy the isolation, but it all takes an ominous turn as increasingly strange environmental phenomena begin to warp their peaceful evening. As the effects of an infection become evident, Emily struggles to make sense of the contagion before it’s too late.
The film stars Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros (Depraved), Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead 2004, Wendigo) and Maryanne Nagel and will be available for streaming on the horror fan favorite network on 7/9/2020!
A simple setup has five friends, Luke (Damian Walshe-Howling), Suzie (Adrienne Pickering), Matt (Gyton Grantley), Kate (Zoe Naylor) and Warren (Kieran Darcy-Smith) on a yacht that hits a reef, damaging the hull. As the boat sinks, they must decide to either stay with the wreckage and hope they are found, or make a desperate swim to an island through miles of shark infested waters.
The film is supposedly based on a true story and writer/director Andrew Traucki takes this simple setup and puts his audience right there in the water with his characters, treating us to some thick tension and nerve-wracking suspense. The characters are likable, so we care about their safety and that adds to that tension. We are also treated to some well staged jump scares, between the scenes of shark attack, just to make sure we don’t relax, just as the characters never do. Obviously, we know not everyone is going to make it and that adds tension, too. The cast are all good in their parts, though some might be disappointed at the limited carnage for a shark movie. A pleasantly surprising and effective nail biter from Down Under that disappointingly went straight to DVD outside it’s native country. Too bad, as the 47 Meters Down movies proved successful recently, this might have also been a sleeper hit. Flick is currently streaming free on Tubi!
Horror comedy anthology tells a series of seven stories each by different writers and directors. There are six separate stories with the seventh being the wraparound that loosely holds them together. Here, it is a video store with the various tapes popped into the VCR being the horror stories that unfold.
With a combination of eight directors, who also write their stories and another four additional writers thrown in the mix, the result is very disappointing. None of the stories really feel like a complete tale that actually goes anywhere and the mix of comedy and horror isn’t all that successful either way. The tales are neither scary nor very funny. The wraparound story goes off the rails and becomes it’s own horror tale that has nothing to do with where it appeared to be going initially, even to the point of jettisoning the main character for a last minute final girl. To be honest, none of the stories really end very satisfyingly. There is plenty of well rendered gore throughout all the tales, but the stories themselves aren’t very memorable or go anywhere all that interesting. Even the cameo by horror icon Joe Bob Briggs doesn’t elicit much of a response. It also doesn’t go anywhere. All together it’s a forgettable and dull 107 minutes that sadly doesn’t inspire one to keep an eye on any of the filmmakers involved. A Shudder exclusive if you want to bother.
Young, up and coming film director Mi-Jung (Seo Ye-Ji) has two weeks to come up with a screenplay in order to keep her first big directing job. Research leads her to a student film, that when shown at it’s premiere, caused panic and even death. Intrigued, she sets out to to find this supposedly haunted film and it’s equally elusive maker Jae-Hyun (Jin Seon-Kyu), who disappeared along with the movie. Mi-jung may soon learn to be careful what you wish for and maybe some things should be left unfound.
Korean horror film is written and directed by Kim Jin-Won and seems to be a mash-up of other films like Blair Witch Project, The Hills Run Red, John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns and The Grudge. As such it’s still an effective and entertaining supernatural chiller as Mi-jung obviously finds the film, Jae-Hyu and the horrible truths that come with them. The pretty, young filmmaker is then haunted by the specter of a dead actress that initially haunted Jae-Hyun and while it is the traditional Asian female ghost with long black hair, she is used effectively. In fact, that’s what helps make this film work as well as it does, is that Kim Jin-Won uses the familiar elements very effectively, as he does his haunted, abandoned movie theater setting where much of the film, especially it’s spooky third act, is set. There is also some violence and gore to go along with the spooky stuff and we are given a likable and driven heroine to root and fear for. Sure we’ve seen it all before, but a good director and a very good performance by leading lady Seo Ye-Ji make this Shudder streaming flick worth the economical 86 minute run time.
THE HILLS RUN RED (2009) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!
The Hills Run Red (2009)(full review HERE) is a bloody…and very 80s…slasher flick that was sadly overlooked when first released directly to DVD on 9/29/2009. It has since gained a strong and loyal cult following and now, thanks to the great folks at Scream Factory, is getting the treatment and respect it deserves!
As for the disc itself….
The high definition transfer of this cult favorite looks really good and wonderfully complements Ilan Rosenberg’s cinematography, as well as, the film’s unsettling visual design. The flick is presented in the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The colors are bright and vibrant and the images are sharp. The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and should satisfy any home theater enthusiasts, as well as, it’s intended audience.
Now on to the extras….
There are some very extensive and informative extras on this disc! The special edition contains all the extras from the original DVD release, including the audio commentary and the It’s Not Real Until You Shoot It: MakingThe Hills Run Red feature.
The new stuff is bountiful. We get two new audio commentaries featuring director Dave Parker, podcaster Patrick Bromley and fan favorite filmmakers Joe Lynch and Adam Green. We get a bunch of video interviews. They start off with an in-depth look at the creation of it’s score from composer Frederik Wiedmann. We get extensive interviews with executive producer Erik Olsen, director Dave Parker and writer David J. Schow. These interviews give some great insight into the production, especially detailing Warner Brothers enthusiastically green-lighting the film after reading the script, then backtracking once they saw the first cut. This explains the short runtime and why the film was dumped unceremoniously on DVD. We get a day in the shooting of the film with, Friday the 13th, June 2008. We get a look at improve scenes shot by the cast for the character filmed segments in The Hills Are Alive…With The Sound Of Improv. The next batch of new featurettes appear to be put together from unreleased interview and behind the scenes footage during the production. These include separate documentaries each on William Sadler’s portrayal of Wilson Wyler Concannon, as well as, Janet Montgomery, Sophie Monk, Alex Wyndham and Tad Hilgenbrink playing their respective roles. After the cast, there are on-set interviews with producer Robert Meyer Burnett and production designer Antonello Rubino. Also be aware, there is a lot of unused footage from the film peppered throughout all these featurettes and a nice production scrapbook that is the icing on the new extras cake. All in all, this is a whooping selection of extras to delight the film’s fans that make this modestly priced special edition well worth the purchase.
Babyface! The masked killer of The Hills Run Red and of the lost film of the same name.
The Hills Run Red (2009) may not have gotten the attention or box office release it deserved, but the folks at Scream Factory have finally given this fan favorite slasher the respect it’s due. The film looks great and there are some very extensive and informative extras involving many facets of the film’s production. If you are a fan of this film, this disc is almost certainly what you have been waiting for!
Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) is a man who’s been accused of killing his first wife. Despite being acquitted, it has made him somewhat infamous and left him mentally scarred. He’s trying to live a new life with his new, young, actress wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and their adorable daughter Ella (Avery Essex). WIth Susanna doing a play in London, the family rents a secluded house in Wales. Unfortunately, there is something very strange going on in that house and Theo’s past comes back to haunt him, as does the house’s shadowy occupant.
Supernatural thriller is written and directed by David Koepp, but despite a nice try to concoct something a little different and spooky, the flick seems cold and distant. Maybe it’s because we never really like or feel sorry for Theo, as he seems to be a bit of a jerk at times and we know from the start there is something about his tragic past he is not telling his new wife, or us. It’s all very predictable and ends exactly as we expect, even up to and including the identity of the house’s specter-like occupant. There are a few spooky moments, but they are few and far between and the excuse to get Susanna out of the house for the last act, just succeeds in making her unlikable as well. As for the couple’s marriage, the fact that Theo is so weird from the start and so much older than Susanna, not to mention his past, leaves their whole relationship, very unconvincing. It might have worked If there was some nice chemistry between the actors, but Bacon and Seyfried never click as a couple onscreen, either. At least young Avery Essex shines as Ella, who is basically the only truly likable person in the movie. Kinda of “meh” when all is said and done. Most entertaining thing about the film, is that it takes place in Wales yet was actually filmed entirely in New Jersey.
Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is a twenty-something stoner/slacker who sits around smoking pot every day with his friends, doesn’t work and still lives with his widowed mother, Margie (Marisa Tomei). Scott’s life of complacency is about to change, however, as his mom starts dating divorced fireman Ray (Bill Burr), his caring sister, Claire (Maude Apatow) moves out to attend college and his “girlfriend,” Kelsey (Bel Powley) is putting pressure on him to be an actual boyfriend. Is it time for Scott to get a life, or will he find some way to keep his current lifestyle of smoking weed and giving his friends tattoos of questionable quality?
Film is directed by Judd Apatow from his script co-written with star Pete Davidson and David Sirus. It is supposedly based somewhat on Pete Davidson’s life growing up in Staten Island and loosing his fireman father at a young age. It’s one of Apatow’s better films in some time with a nice, even mix of drama and comedy and a really solid cast. Davidson is charming and funny as the Scott, who’s got a good heart, but zero ambitions, aside from his dream to open a tattoo parlor/restaurant. Still hurting over the on-duty death of his his fireman father, there is reasonable turmoil when his mother starts dating another one. Davidson plays that well, too. Scott has to make some strong decisions when thrown out by his fed-up mother and everyone around him is either moving on with their lives, or getting themselves into trouble. Apatow directs very low-key and uses the Staten Island locations to charming effect and the film is never boring at 136 minutes. The cast are all great, with Tomei giving another culturally flavorful performance and SNL alumni Pete Davidson proving he can carry a film. After a few stumbles, this and Trainwreck prove Apatow’s back to form.