halloween hottie 2014

ABC's "Zero Hour" - Season One


This newest installment of Halloween Hotties features our Halloween Hottie Of 2014, the lovely and very talented Addison Timlin, who easily earns this title by appearing in, not one, but, two of MonsterZero NJ’s Best Horror Flicks Of 2014!…and knocking it out of the park with two very different characters in two films with starkly different tones.

(Click on the highlighted links or on the movie posters to read a review of the film’s that have earned her Halloween Hottie of 2014!)



Who didn’t fall madly in love with Addison’s feisty, adorable and fiercely loyal Stormy Llewellyn? As the girlfriend of the movie’s paranormally gifted hero, Odd Thomas, the brown-eyed beauty practically stole the flick away from its star with her sweet smile, confident smirk and the one-two punch of her in daisy dukes and that yummy Burke and Bailey’s Ice Cream Shop uniform. Stormy stands by her man no matter how weird the situation gets and we can plainly see why Odd believes her to be his one and only…It also helped greatly that Timlin and the perfectly cast Anton Yelchin had a great on-screen chemistry together!


Scene stealing Addison Timlin as Odd Thomas’ Stormy Llewellyn!

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And her disturbing second feature…



While Odd Thomas was a darkly whimsical, supernatural thriller, this clever and very chilling flick was remake, sequel and homage all-in-one to the 1976 horror classic of the same name. This was a vicious, bloody and straightforward horror that saw Addison as Jami Lerner, a young woman being stalked by a copycat killer imitating ‘The Phantom’ from the original movie…and the real-life crimes that inspired it. This strong-willed woman, played with a quiet strength by Miss Timlin, decides to fight back, though, and the masked hunter becomes the hunted! Addison takes center stage in this intense flick and proves she is leading lady material…and a great final girl!


A strong and intense performance by Addison Timlin as The Town That Dreaded Sundown’s Jami Lerner!

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Addison Timlin will be seen again soon as Lucinda Price in the 2015 film Fallen. An adaptation of Lauren Kate’s young adult fantasy/romance novel that will find Timlin’s character caught in a romantic triangle between two very unusual suitors. Whether she is stealing scenes or battling masked psychopaths, Addison Timlin is a beautiful young woman and versatile actress we want to see a lot more of, no matter what the genre!…and a more than worthy Halloween Hottie Of 2014!
halloween hottie 2014

And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties focusing on, Briana EviganKatrina BowdenAlexandra DaddarioKatie FeatherstonKatharine IsabelleAmber Heard and Danielle Harris! (just click on their names to go to their pages!)




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(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The original The Town That Dreaded Sundown is based on a true series of murders that occurred in Texarkana, Arkansas in 1946 and were committed by a person known only as “The Phantom”… a man who was never caught. The 1976 film is considered a cult classic but when I finally caught up with it, I wasn’t impressed with the pseudo-documentary flick. Now comes a new version which actually is a sequel of sorts that not only acknowledges the actual crimes but the existence of the 1976 film, as well as Texarkana’s morbid custom of screening Charles B. Pierce’s original film every Halloween… and it’s at one such screening in 2013 that the film begins…

The movie opens with pretty Jami Lerner (Addison Timlin, the scene stealing Stormy Llewellyn in Odd Thomas) and her date Corey (Spencer Treat Clark) leaving a Halloween drive-in screening of The Town That Dreaded Sundown as Jami is put-off by the film’s violence. The two retreat to a local make-out point but, much like the movie, a masked man appears and forces them out of the car, murdering Corey and letting Jami live as long as she “makes them remember Mary.” The traumatized girl makes her way back to the drive-in where the film is showing and soon the town is caught in a real grip of fear as the locals believe The Phantom has returned. Whether he is truly back, or someone is imitating the killer from real life and the 1976 film, the result is the same, soon the bodies begin to gruesomely pile up. Worse for Jami, is that the killer has chosen her to be his messenger as he threatens to kill more unless she delivers his message of remembrance. But Jami decides to fight fire with fire and begins to investigate the original case to try to find out who is the one actually stalking her and murdering innocent townsfolk and why. But will she uncover the real killer, or will he catch her first?

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, this film takes the Blair Witch 2 concept of making a film about events inspired by the original film but, does it so much better. This is a stylish and sometimes strange… in a good way… flick that is basically a slasher that chillingly references real events and playfully references the original film, even cleverly having the director’s son Charles Pierce Jr. (Denis O’Hare) as a character. There are some brutal and disturbing sequences depicting the killer’s wrath and Gomez-Rejon gives us some nice suspense throughout, especially in the last act when Jami and the masked killer reunite. Not only does the director have a nice visual style to enhance his story and off-kilter storytelling but, gives the film a nice atmosphere of foreboding and bravely paces the film more moderately, much like the original film and the films of that era were paced. This is complemented by Michael Goi’s moody cinematography and Ludwig Göransson’s atmospheric score. The killings are also quite gruesome at times and have a lot of impact and the FX portraying them are well rendered and makes this overall a very effective slasher whether it be a remake/sequel or whatever you want to classify it.

The cast are all good with Timlin being a moody yet resourceful heroine. She conveys the emotional trauma of a young woman who witnesses her date’s murder yet, the strength to fight back by investigating the very psychopath that may be waiting outside her door. A far different character than Odd ThomasStormy Llewellyn and proves this is a young actress to keep an eye on. Film vet Veronica Cartwright plays her grandmother who lived through the time of the original murders and gives us a woman who is pained to see her granddaughter living through similar events. Gary Cole is solid as the local sheriff, Anthony Anderson plays an updated Lone Wolf Morales echoing Ben Johnson’s character from ’76 and Travis Trope is charming as Nick, a young man who befriends Jami and helps her with her investigation. A solid cast who do good work in bringing this chiller to effective life.

Overall, I really liked this movie and was pleasantly surprised by it. It cleverly is both sequel and remake yet is also a film made outside the original so, it may deviously reference that film and use both the film and the actual crimes from 1946 as part of its story history. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has a bit of a quirky and offbeat storytelling style that adds to the unsettling atmosphere of the film and gives us some nice suspense and some disturbing and brutal scenes of violence to punctuate it. All in all, a solid and somewhat off-beat horror/slasher that is one of the more interesting horror flicks I have seen this year. Sad, it’s gotten too little attention, especially coming from the horror factory that is Blumhouse. It deserves more.

-MonsterZero NJ

Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) killers.

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(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is considered a classic and has a reputation but, personally, I don’t get it. Maybe it’s that I finally have caught up with it now and not back in the day when it made it’s impact but, I found the film dull and even silly at times.

The film takes place in 1946 Texarkana, Arkansas and is based on a real series of murders (check out Killer Legends for the scoop on the real case) that happened in that year and area by an individual that was dubbed “The Phantom Killer”. This horror flick dramatizes the events with a pseudo-documentary format, complete with monotone narration, as this small town becomes immobilized with fear as a masked killer stalks the night. In the actual case, the killer was never caught and his activities ceased as mysteriously as they began. The film version follows the small town’s Deputy (Andrew Prine) as he teams with a notorious Texas Ranger (Ben Johnson) to try and catch this madman.

Charles B Pierce (Legend Of Boggy Creek) directs Earl E. Smith’s script with a very slow pace, which would be alright if it wasn’t also given such a deadpan tone. The documentary-like structure robs the film of any real intensity or atmosphere as it comes off like one of those old fashioned school warning films that you can watch on Youtube. The only time the film livens up is for some really obtrusive comic relief sequences surrounding a bumbling deputy nicknamed “Sparkplug” (ironically played by director Pierce). These sequences stick out like a sore thumb, though and the silly slapstick completely undermines the dreadfully serious tone of the rest of the film. They almost seem like they are from a completely different movie and really have no place in a flick that is trying to present a series of horrific events that should be taken seriously. The killings are disturbing and bloody but, nothing that really had impact enough to really grab me, though that can be forgiven as they are based on fact. For the most part I was bored and very disappointed but, not being a big fan of Pierce’s Boggy Creek either… which suffered from the same problems… it wasn’t all that much of a surprise. Maybe in the 70s this was considered a disturbing flick but, now it’s tame, dull and, at it’s worst points, very silly. With a chilling real series of events to base this on, it’s sad how little this film captures the horror of what actually happened and fails to really bring to life the fear with which it gripped a small town community.

The cast, which also includes Gilligan’s Island’s Dawn Wells, all perform with the same monotone as the film’s narration by Vern Stierman. Prine and Johnson are veteran actors but, here they seem like they are just going through the motions with Johnson giving a bit of arrogance and pompousness to his Texas Ranger but, far from his usual rich character work. The only actor who shows some life is, unfortunately Pierce whose comic bits mimic Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show. Wells plays one of the killers victims who survives and as most of her role is screaming and crying, she’s fine. A decent cast but, sadly without the guidance of a more sure-handed director.

So basically, I found little to like about this crime/horror thriller and it’s reputation is a mystery to me. It’s slow moving, has little atmosphere and what little effect the murder sequences have, is eradicated by shamelessly slapstick comic relief performed by the director himself. It’s sad that a film based on actual events that are chilling on their own, couldn’t make effective use of a plot that is already written in real history. Watch the documentary Killer Legends for a far more effective segment on the actually events that inspired this ‘classic’ film. There is currently a remake… that sounds more like a sequel… in release that sounds like it could be a lot better or at least a far more entertaining film.

2 (out of 4) phantom killers.

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