Archive for the News Category

Upcoming 2010 Horror Releases

Posted in News with tags , on March 3, 2010 by gobbets

2010 is looking set to be a year dominated by remakes and sequels. We’ve seen this trend happening for a while – with reboots of 80s classics and easy-money-sequels dominating not just the horror field but mainstream cinema in general. But that’s not to say there aren’t a few gems to be seen nonetheless (I personally think any year that has a George Romero film is a good year!), and the shift to 3D has the potential to really work well in this genre (I may have to eat my words on that one – stay tuned!). Have a look at some of the releases that have got the horror community buzzing…

Which ones are you looking forward to?

Any you wouldn’t go near with a flamethrower?

A Nightmare on Elm St (April)
Remake of Wes Craven’s 1984 original. Featuring the now famous Freddy Krueger, who haunts and kills suburban teenagers in their dreams, the original film was credited with kicking off the modern slasher genre. Supposedly scarier and more serious (no more wisecracking Freddy) I wonder whether the charm of the original will be completely obliterated or just made more sinister?

Survival of the Dead (May)
Next installment in zombie master George Romero’s … of the Dead series – this time a group of survivors think they are close to finding a cure for the zombie plague.

Jonah Hex (June)
Based on the DC character of the same name, this film is a western/horror hybrid about a former confederate soldier and bounty hunter who has been near death so many times he has one foot on the ‘other side’. Current plot discussions online suggest that in the film Hex must track down a voodoo practitioner who is planning on raising a zombie army in the South.

Predators (July)
Scifi/horror hybrid designed as a sequel to the 1987 film Predator in which aliens come to earth to hunt humans for sport. (Yes, there has already been a sequel – Predators 2 in 1990 – apparently we are assuming that didn’t happen). The cameo by original star Arnold Schwarzenegger is yet to be confirmed.

Piranha – 3D (August)
Remake of the 1978 film of the same name. A volcanic tremor releases millions of piranhas into the local lake.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (September)
Fourth film in the series (not including the animated feature ) this time Alice joins forces with the inhabitants of a Los Angeles prison to fight off the zombie hordes. Also in 3D – which to the best of my knowledge is a first for a zombie film.

Saw VII (October)
Number 7 (and apparently final) installment in the franchise that launched the term ‘tortureporn’. This time also in 3D which could be interesting since the entire film is being designed for and shot in 3D rather than utilizing the usual 2D to 3D transfer.

Let Me In (October)
American remake of the 2008 Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In (based on the novel by John Lindqvist). This time set in New Mexico, it tells the story of a young teenage boy who becomes friends with a child vampire.


I’m game for Phoonk 2

Posted in News with tags on February 25, 2010 by gobbets

Bollywood Horror director Ram Gopal Varma has offered $10 000 to the person who can sit through his new film Phoonk 2, alone, till the closing credits, hooked up to medical equipment and a camera rig.  Although it seems he’s tried this publicity stunt before (read more here) with questionable intent, his film is certainly making news. You can watch the trailer here.

To me it doesn’t look all that different from the spate of evil-adolescent-ghost films we’ve seen coming out of Japan in recent decades. But it got me to thinking – what would make me stop watching? Where’s my limit?

So I’m curious: have you ever walked out of or tuned off a horror film? Which one?

Share your stories with us!

King’s ‘Ur’ re-released.

Posted in News with tags , on February 20, 2010 by gobbets

Last week the audiobook version of Stephen King’s 2009 novella Ur was released. Now the release of an audiobook isn’t a particularly momentous occasion for me (I’ve only ever listened to one once), but the idea of Ur being on another format is interesting because (for the uninitiated) Ur was only released for the Amazon Kindle. Exclusively. This was no mere marketing contract on King’s part – the format of the text works to heighten the effect of the narrative: Ur is the story about the disturbing consequences of one man’s purchase of a Kindle.

King has always been at his best when it comes to giving everyday objects a sinister turn: creepy automobiles are the focus of Christine (1983) and From a Buick 8 (2002), and a killer virus transmitted by mobile phones decimates the population in Cell (2006). In Ur, King sets his sights on the e-reader phenomenon with a story centring on a college English professor who purchases the device in a fit of spite, wanting to prove his ex-girlfriend wrong about his addiction to paper-and-ink books. But what Wesley Smith receives is no ordinary Kindle. The ‘Ur’ menu provides him with access to the literature of other realities, but the fascination turns to horror when the professor stops reading ‘new’ Hemmingways and begins to investigate the newspapers of other realities – which leads to the discovery of troubling information about his own.

Reading a story about an e-reader on an e-reader lends the story a real immediacy. You catch yourself looking for the additional ‘Ur’ menus on your own device, and wondering just what you’d do if you actually found them. Could I help myself checking if Arthur Machen had written anything more in another reality? I doubt it. Could I restrict my curiosity to the realm of literature or would I feel compelled to poke my nose into history as well? Would I meddle with what I’d found to save a loved one? I’d poke. I’d meddle. I don’t have that kind of self control, and I doubt you do either. That’s the beauty of King’s writing: he gets to the heart of things, human nature. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

So, will Ur work as an audiobook? Unlikely. I understand the need for audiobooks so those who have difficulty with reading off a page or a screen have access to literature – and it’s great that technology has made this possible, but the real charm of King’s novella is actually the uncomfortable frisson the reader gets from interacting with the very source of the story’s fear. That kind of hands-on experience is hard to come by, and won’t be found via MP3.