Bliss’s Dezzy (Dora Madison) finds a designer drug that has a nasty side effect
The first two decades of the 2000s have shown a nice resurgence in horror, especially indie horror. Obviously, certain popular sub-genres are being revisited by today’s filmmakers. As such, contemporary talent are mixing their own ideas with those of their inspirations when making their films. No better example than the vampire sub-genre. The first vampire film was Nosferatu made in 1922 making this particular type of horror film one of the oldest. With decades of inspiration to draw from and new filmmakers putting their own spin on these creatures of the night, here are 12 new millennium horror films that give new bite to the vampire movie…
A Nosferatu inspired blood-sucker from the Irish vampire flick From The Dark
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 REASONS IFC MIDNIGHT HAS DELIVERED A DECADE OF HORROR!
IFC Midnight was created by IFC Films in 2010 as a distributor for their horror movie releases. They have been going strong for ten years, now delivering dozens of genre flicks! So, without further ado, here are twenty reasons why it’s been a decade of horror, because of the great folks at IFC Midnight! Their movies can be found on various streaming or VOD outlets!
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 REASONS THE 2010s WAS THE DECADE OF INDIE HORROR!
Maika Monroe’s Jay screams at an entity only she can see in It Follows!
The past decade was a very good time for horror fans as there was quite a resurgence of the popularity of fright flicks and thus more movies produced. This and the emergence of some new indie studios and distributors, like A24 and IFC Midnight, as well as, new crowd funding methods to get filmmaker’s films financed, especially impacted independently produced horror. To illustrate this delightful proliferation, here are ten indie horror flicks, each representing the year they were released, that prove the 2010s was the decade of indie horror!
Teen Leah (Nicole Muñoz) unleashes something she can’t control in Pyewacket!
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Sequel to the Jim Mickle’s 2010 vampire epic, Stake Land, takes place ten years later with Martin (a returning Connor Paolo) living in New Eden with Peggy (again Bonnie Dennison) and raising a young daughter. One night, The Brotherhood lays siege to this sanctuary lead by The Mother (Kristina Hughes), a vampire who commands an army of Berzerkers. The village is massacred with Peggy and their daughter brutally killed. Now the surviving Martin returns to the desolate wasteland of the United States to find Mister (Nick Damici reprising his role) to exact revenge…and that’s exactly what Mother is counting on.
Jim Mickle sits this sequel out for the most part, appearing only as a producer. His star and co-writer on the original, Nick Damici, returns to script and the directorial reigns are turned over to Dan Berk and Robert Olsen…sadly with mixed results. Damici’s story works fairly well in reuniting Mister and Martin with some interesting developments having transpired between films. With the human population devastated, the vampires have grown desperate for food and will now risk coming out in the sunlight to pursue a meal, even if it means burning up. Some of the humans have turned to barbarity and resort to cannibalism and staging gladiatorial battles between strangers…which is where Martin finds Mister. The character of Mother is also interesting, though a bit underused as Damici’s story focuses on Martin and Mister and the groups of humanity they encounter. We do find out a little about Mister’s background, a past he shares with Mother. On the downside, Berk and Olsen are a bit pedestrian in their direction and thus it lacks the first film’s intensity and atmosphere. The action and drama are all a bit by-the-numbers and this doesn’t help as the film needs a fresh touch, being the second time around for what was a different take on the traditional vampire tale in the original. It comes across as more of a TV movie which, having premiered on SYFY, it kinda is…and it shows.
At least the cast all do well, especially the returnees. Paolo gives us a far more mature and able Martin, now more of a grizzled warrior than the naive boy we met in the first installment. Damici is solid once again as Mister. He gives the vampire hunter a bit more inner pain accumulated over the last decade and the fact the character is sidelined with injury for part of the flick is disappointing, as it’s great to see him back. Damici reminds one of Charles Bronson, at times, with the grizzled tough guy roles he often plays. Hughes is creepy as Mother. She has a presence and it’s unfortunate she’s a bit underdeveloped. Rounding out is Laura Abramsen, who is fine as Mister’s mute, feral woman companion and A.C. Peterson and veteran actor Steven Williams are entertaining as two leaders of an armed outpost who join Mister in standing against Mother. Sadly Bonnie Dennison’s part is far too short to really count as more than a cameo.
Overall this is an OK sequel to, in my opinion, one of the best horror films of 2010. The returning characters were fun to see again and were well played by the returning stars. Actor/writer Nick Damici had a worthy enough story and some interesting developments, but the film lacked Jim Mickle’s touch behind the camera. The direction was by-the-numbers and while entertaining, the film lacked the intensity and atmosphere of it’s predecessor and appeared to be working with a smaller scale and budget. Worth a watch if you are a fan of the original film, but if you haven’t seen Stake Land, seek that out first.
Nothing says Halloween like vampires, so, here are 25 vampire flicks that you might want to sink your teeth into during the Halloween season! I tried to add a little diversity and sadly left off a few good titles due to there unavailability (like Salem’s Lot 1979 and Fright Night II 1988).
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Click on the highlighted titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!
(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)
Mulberry Street is the first feature film collaboration from the Stake Land writing team of director Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, who also plays the lead role of ex-boxer ‘Clutch’ (and Stake Land’s ‘Mister’). Mulberry Street is a horror flick that takes place in a NYC tenement on the eve of its tenants losing their homes to eminent domain. As Clutch receives a visit from his soldier daughter (Kim Blair), returning from service in Iraq, a bizarre outbreak hits the neighborhood and Clutch, his daughter and their neighbors, become trapped in their apartments as people around them are being transformed into vicious killers with rat-like features. Can they survive the night as this bizarre outbreak spreads through the apartment building and the rest of the city as well?
The story might sound silly to some, but Mickle takes his tale of a zombie outbreak with a vermin twist completely serious and makes one creepy and effective horror flick out of it. Mickle maintains an atmosphere of dread throughout and offers some tense and suspenseful scenes, as our apartment dwellers become the target of their vicious and hungry former neighbors. The almost documentary like style draws us in and Mickle gives us some very ‘real people’ characters to care about and root for. He gets good performances out of his cast and presents some simple but very effective FX to portray his protagonists and their carnage. Mulberry Street may not appeal to the casual or mainstream horror fan, but to those who enjoy something offbeat, inventive and a little different, then a trip down Mulberry St. is a creepy trip worth taking and a very effective little horror on a micro budget.
Obviously, I like this movie a lot and it shows the potential Jim Mickle has lived up to with his following films Stake Land, We Are What We Areand Cold in July. It’s a fun and very creepy twist on the standard zombie format and uses what could have been a silly premise very effectively. It’s spooky, atmospheric and accomplishes a lot on a very small budget. Definitely recommended to those who love some variety and originality in their horror.
Need a little variety for your Halloween viewing this year? These are 25 lesser-known, overlooked or more obscure horrors from recent years that certainly are worthy of a spot on your movie playlist for the upcoming Halloween season!
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Click on the titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!
Another interesting horror from Jim Mickle, director of the cool indie chiller Mulberry St.Stake Land is a bloody horror tale set in a world that has been overrun by vicious and bloodthirsty vampires, not the glittering, poetry reading fops that populate contemporary stories to woo teenage girls, but murderous, savage, blood drinking monsters. The film follows a hardened vampire fighter simply know as “Mister” (co-writer Nick Damici) and a boy coming of age, Martin (Connor Paolo) as they travel across the desolate vampire infested wasteland. Sometimes the pockets of survivors they meet during the day, like the religious “Brotherhood” who feel the vampires are doing God’s work, are worse than the monsters that stalk the night. Along the way they pick up some stragglers like the pretty pregnant, Belle (Danielle Harris), ex-Marine, Willie (Sean Nelson) and nun, “Sister” (Kelly McGillis). They are all headed to New Eden, an area of Canada rumored be vampire free. The odds and fangs are stacked against them and they may not survive the trip to a place that may not even exist.
Stake Land is very bleak and sometimes very vicious and gory, but there is some innovative stuff along with the familiar vampire/apocalyptic trappings and some powerful scenes. Like with Mulberry St., Mickle knows how to add fresh twists to old favorites and create likable characters to populate his horror stories. He also creates some tense atmosphere, some nice scares and gets good performances from his cast. Despite the dark tone, Mickle still manages to give his tale a glimmer of hope that keeps us emotionally invested. The film also an effective visual style, it’s simple, but Mickle creates a lot of atmosphere with what he has to work with on a low budget.
A really good horror from an underrated filmmaker who I hope someday gets the attention he deserves. One of my top horrors from 2011 (It had a limited release in 2010, but I was not able to catch it until 2011 on DVD).