Written by Scotty
Going into new situations open minded can be one of the best ways to attack them. Being close minded and not being open to seeing or hearing something out of the ordinary could frighten you more than it should. When talking about Ghosts, there are many skeptics around that are not open to the thoughts of life after death, but when something is seen before their very eyes, it changes their lives, for the worse.
An up and coming ghost hunting show is shooting their sixth episode of their pilot season and have yet to find anything out of the ordinary. Sticking to their script, they are trying to bring the scares to the screen so they can continue to stay on the air. Being led by Lance Preston, the face of the show and a skeptic, the group is out to have a good time while their next filming location may be the only place they have investigated they may actually be haunted.
The Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital in Maryland has a very dark past filled with death and experimentation by its head doctor Arthur Friedken who had an obsession with brain surgery and giving his patents lobotomies. Walking through the hospital during the day, the group finds that the building is very dark on the inside and with no working lights when the night closes in, it will be pitch black. With only their flashlights and camera lights, the group is in for a very long and dark ride.
As the night begins, there is nothing unusual to report, but after the initial walk through, some things start to show up out of place. With only slight differences, the group does not take stock in what they are seeing, but as the night comes into full effect, the hospital and its inhabitants come to life. Only starting with a door slamming for no reason, a member of the group goes missing after seeing a patent standing in the corner. The hospital has many scares up its sleeve for the group of investigators and will not pull any punches for those who do not believe.
Grave Encounters follows a group of skeptical ghost hunters as they are trying to head off the market before the new shows are able to get a fan base. With nothing to show as evidence, they have been able to provide great scares for their fans and that is all they are trying to do moving forward. On their current ghost hunt however, they are in for more than strange sounds or visions as the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital is housing more than the tortured spirits from its past, but the good doctor that was trying to cure them all as well. As the night moves on, the scares get more and more intense, but when the group tries to leave the old building, they are not able to find their way back to the exit. Collingwood Hospital has a plan for its new residents and will not allow them to leave until they are cured.
One of the better ghost stories I have seen being shot in first person. Although the camera movements are made to provide the scares, it is not as obvious in this versus some other movies. I will still find myself watching some of the ghost hunting shows on cable for a quick scare, but they have lost their effect on me since they seem to have a hard time disproving what they see or hear. Does this mean that there is no such thing as ghosts? That would be a personal question for everyone to formulate their own answer too, but like I said, there is never a problem with keeping an open mind. Stay Scared.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
When it comes to horror and gaming, sadly there are few games that have ever terrified or chilled me to the bone. Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed horror gaming over the years, the early Resident Evil games were an utter joy to play, but I want more games that truly terrify me.
It has to be a difficult venture, after all in film you're not in control, you're at the mercy of the director. But in gaming, you know scares are supposed to come, and you know that your controller or keyboard will get you out of a jam. But there was one game I enjoyed years ago that actually managed to scare me and leave me uncomfortable, the awesome...Nocturne.
The plot was simple, you played The Stranger, a mysterious man who worked for the Spookhouse; a top secret government agency designed to keep the horrible things that go bump in the night at bay. There were four key missions that took you into the heart of terrible goings on and man...this game was a blast.
What made Nocturne so much fun to play and quite frankly, bone chilling was the fact that you were given very little information about what kind of situation The Stranger is about to walk into. The second mission, one that features zombies and a throwback to Lovecraft is a great example of this. As since you are forced to investigate reports of zombies, and your investigation quickly falls apart of course...but the key is that the undead appear out of nowhere and are fierce and managed to make me jump.
But it was more than simple jump scares for this game, often times the mood was set with things moving in the shadows that may or may not appear. There was plenty of gore, plenty of monsters from every genre but what made the game work so well was the tension that it built every step of the way, each mission was its own mini movie and minute by minute the story became all the more intense and it made the surprises all that much more shocking. But the game was not without its fun, the third segment is more black comedy with the Stranger battling Al Capone's Frankenstein style mobsters.
Truly Nocturne was another one of those golden era of gaming gems that sadly has all but disappeared, which is a shame since the game ended with an incredible cliffhanger. Here's to hoping a sequel shows up at some point, but if you can find a copy of this and a compatible PC, you won't be disappointed.
Written by Scotty
Not many new television series have piqued my interest in the past couple of years and that is really a shame. When Game of Thrones came out, I looked at it and just thought to myself, ah, it has dragons and I would not like it. Upon viewing it however, the acting captured my heart and now I cannot get away from it. The Walking Dead, however caught me from the beginning. A zombie TV show in prime time, but I was concerned that it would not show decent kills of the undead and now looking back, that was completely wrong.
Now with Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain coming to prime time, I cannot even try to hide my excitement. Long story short, I was looking for a new Vampire novel to read and Barnes and Noble’s website, the searches kept bringing up The Strain. Knowing that del Toro was a good director, I bit the bullet and ordered the first book since it was in the bargain priced section and have never looked back from there. A new breed of Vampires are running the streets and when they first change, they are far from afraid of sunlight as their bodies take days to adjust to their change. No longer biting with their fangs, but stingers that shoot out of their throats, it was a new way to see how the genre has evolved.
Having a little bit of help from a good friend on this change, she called out Blade II, which Guillermo del Toro directed to give me a brief idea of how this would work. Now, I am still more of a Vampire purist, and don’t really want any movie, TV show or novel to detour from the original lore, but I accepted the change, not only for how the blood suckers kill, but how it plays into the story. I have been intrigued and happy with the results that this series has brought to the written page, but Guillermo del Toro wanted more and he was able to accomplish the next goal…comic.
The Strain comic hit shelves in 2012 and although many fans did not know what they were getting into, they loved the premise as well. Being story boarded just like the novel was key for me as I only found out about it after listening to our pod cast. With the story being adapted by David Lapham and artwork by Mike Huddlestorn and Dan Jackson, del Toro’s vision from the novel had been brought to life. I will admit, I was thrown a little bit by how the Vampires appeared, but I have learned to cope with it, as I said, it follows the novel that I like and is just adding illustration to the new classic. But would Guillermo del Toro stop there? A great director, now writer had something bigger on his mind and that was to bring it to the masses in a television show.
In 2012, shortly after the second trade came out for comic adaptation of The Strain, FX flexed its muscles and picked up the rights to the story. I do not know what was seen or said when this was done, but I do know that I have been glued to the internet, trying to find out what will be made of one of my favorite novels. Although comic options are the hottest thing out there right now with Marvel and DC knocking each outer around, Dark Horse has stayed right along with them with the comics that have become films and just maybe could surpass them with a television series that rivals some of the best.
The scripts have come and gone, writers have come and gone, actors have come and gone, but one thing still stands true, The Strain is coming to a television near you in less than a month. If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you would have seen a trailer that featured an eclipse and that is what sparks the beginning of The Strain. There are a few people that understand the threat that is presenting itself to New York, and many that will not even try to understand that their lifestyles are about to change.
As long as the show stays with the novel, this will be something to witness as a novel turned comic turned TV show hits your TV screen. I am beside myself right now as I keep getting updates about the show and I just want to see what will happen and if it will rival something else that I am slowly falling out of love with on Sunday nights. If you are a Vampire fan, I hope you tune in to see something that is just different enough to make you want to broaden your vision in the genre, and if you are not a fan of the occult but need something new to watch on Sundays, give it a look, hopefully it does not disappoint. As always Stay Scared and keep looking to the sun, you never know when it might just cloud your view.
Written by Scotty
The voyage home can be one filled with different trials as the return trip never seems as smooth as the original journey. As Homer’s Odyssey has shown us, there is nothing easy about accomplishing what you wanted and getting home safely. As other travelers have also noted, even if they are trying to leave their fantastic vacation spots, it is the hardest thing to get back to their home, as they have to get back into "work mode."
Six years ago, NASA discovered extraterrestrial life could exist in the solar system and sent out a probe to collect samples. Although the mission was a success, upon reentry, the probe crashed at the U.S.-Mexico border and caused an outbreak of an alien species. Now the crash site is known as the Infected Zone and both governments struggle to keep it contained to the area. The aliens however do not try to stay in the zone as they migrate around the same time every year, trying to broaden their horizons and move on causing massive deaths around the area.
Samantha Wynden (Sam) is on vacation, south of the Infected Zone and is looking for a way to get back to America. Having a very rich father, it has been easy for her to get whatever she has wanted in the past, but without having money in hand currently, she has to put her trust into a complete stranger. Andrew Kaulder is a freelance photographer who is only looking to make ends meet and is willing to be Sam’s guide back up to the states, as long as the price is right. Having to give Sam the breakdown of what life is really like for a person in his profession, he is not willing to pull out any stops as he takes pictures of every child on the way up to the Infected Zone.
At the last safe port before the Infected Zone, the two discover that the price for safe passage is very expensive, even for Americans trying to get home. Having to pay the price so he can get his good deed rewarded, Kaulder buys a ticket on the next day’s ferry for Sam. Having the night ahead of them, the two partake on a time they will never forget. With the port having a large party, the two drink and get to know each other a bit more, but when they stop and witness the massive graveyard left by the invasion years ago, their moods are lowered and they return to their hotel rooms. Waking up the following morning, Sam finds that Kaulder had a great time without her since a local girl ended up robbing him. Ashamed in his actions and more with the loss of her passport, the two are forced to come up with a new plan to get Sam home that involves entering the Infected Zone by foot.
Monsters focuses on the stories of Sam Wynden and Andrew Kaulder as they both try to find a way to get back home. Although Kaulder is not keen on the idea of babysitting for a rich girl, he finds that he likes her company and tries to improve the relationship. After he loses her passport and the last safe passage ferry has left however, he has to come up with a new plan to get her home safely. Without having enough money and the alien migration managing to shut down the ferry line for the season, the two have to go through the Infected Zone by foot. Most people who take this trip never appear on the other side, but with Sam’s father willing to pay for everything to get her home, Kaulder has to let go of his beliefs and get the young woman home. As the two enter the Infected Zone, they see what the creatures are capable of, along with what both governments are willing to do to keep the aliens confined to one little part of the world.
A great monster movie that makes sure that you understand that the treat is not only the monster you know and fear, but the ones you would never expect it from. As everyone is trying to survive in their own way, the creatures are trying to do the same, but are constantly interrupted by the human race. Seeing what the aliens want out of life, along with being told by their guides, Sam and Kaulder find new meanings to their lives as they only now start to focus on what is most important to them. Keeping true to any good monster movie, you don’t get to see the beasts head on, but that is one of the things that lets your imagination provide the scares as you never know what you are really up against. Stay Scared.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
If you've taken the time to visit this site, you are fully aware of my love of horror movies and specifically of Sleepaway Camp. It's a magical and storied franchise, courtesy of the incredible first film and its wild and original ending. But I won't spend a ton of time talking about why I love the movie today, only due to the fact I've reviewed the entire series (Part One, Two, Three and Four). No, instead I've been treated to something special and something that until recently was horribly overdue...Sleepaway Camp in high definition.
Yes, Scream Factory has done it again. It's been one legendary horror film after another that is remastered by this company and now Sleepaway Camp has been given the HD Blu Ray treatment and man oh man, this is an impressive Collector's Edition.
For starters, the movie has never looked better. This time around Scream Factory has remastered the film in stunning 2k HD from the original negative, and wow...this is the best the film has ever looked. Tiny details that you never had a clue were in this film are present everywhere, it truly is a gorgeous transfer.
But while I now own an incredible visual copy of an incredible horror film, what truly blew me away about this disc set are the special features. See, when it comes to this film, there isn't much that I have seen out there when it comes to the making of this movie. Sure if you dig hard enough on the web you can piece it together. But hell, there's documentaries out there for many of our horror favorites that chronicle the story, or stories from start to finish.
Now I've been lucky, Jonathan Tiersten, who plays Ricky in the film, lives in Denver and I've seen him at many a convention and have been able to sit down and chat with him and hear incredible tales of his time at camp. But for the masses, well, Scream Factory has delivered with an incredible retrospective documentary in the special features. The cast and crew re tell the tale of Sleepaway Camp from start to finish and man...it's compelling. You learn everything about this film in this little documentary and you won't be able to stop watching simply because of how raw and personal these interviews are. You will see tears on the screen, and you'll know in your heart where they cut because tears were coming, and it's what makes this disc worth owning.
It's rare you see an actor's love for a film in this manner, and it's a fine reminder that this film means so much to so many, that it has moved beyond cult classic status into just plain classic and that makes this the finest edition of the film to date. If you're a casual horror fan or a die hard fan of the franchise, this is one to own.