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“Edwin Drood” comes to Atlanta; a horror homage plays at the Plaza Theatre; and a film about an autistic teen on his first date wins Best Film at the Disability Film Challenge. It’s this week’s Atlanta News Roundup. “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” Now at Stage Door PlayersCharles Dickens’ famously unfinished novel, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” is running at the Stage Door Players through August 2. Books and music were written by Rupert “The Piña Colada Song” Holmes, who won five Tonys for his production in 1985, including Best Musical (when it was known simply as “Drood”). Tickets are available here though they’re selling out quickly. “Solitude” Has Many MastersThough it’s not yet Halloween, two filmmakers—one who is from Atlanta—have paid homage to the suspense masters and slash-meisters of the past with “Solitude,” a horror film that includes shooting styles that reflect the different filmmaking eras, »
Have you ever stopped to consider the level of impact horror movies have on our society?
I’m not talking about theories where horror movies turn people into killers or whatever. I’m talking about how horror movies have impacted what we wear, the shows we watch on TV, the music we listen to and even the games we play.
If you’ve not, let me tell you this — the impact is pretty vast.
It has quite literally made its presence known in every other aspect of consumerist life. If you’re a horror movie buff, like me, then you’re bound to find it interesting to see an overview of how and where it’s done this. So let me quench that interest. Here’s an overview of how horror movies have impacted, well, everything.
Think back to your favourite thriller. It had an iconic sound to it, »
- Gary Collinson
The woods are already pretty creepy. Nearly 20 years later, I'm still not over the residual terror left after The Blair Witch Project and all these other movies about strange creatures in the woods aren't helping matters much. The thing with Dark Was the Night is that Jack Heller's second feature is far more concerned about the drama of the people who live in town than with the monster lurking in the shadows. Thank god too. The last thing we need is another generic monster in the woods horror.
It opens as you might expect: a couple of guys don't return from their shift at the logging company and when supervisors go looking, what they find is gruesome. Unfortunately, the newly opened logging operation has pushed all of the creatures in the forest from their natural habita [Continued ...] »
Unpleasant characters do things that make no sense in “found footage” clearly edited together from multiple sources. Negligent storytelling at its worst. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): really hating found footage lately
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Just when I think the “genre” of found-footage can’t get any worse — which is typically while I’m suffering through the previous found-footage movie — I am proven wrong by the next one. But The Gallows isn’t merely a new low in a filmmaking gimmick that has long since been played out: it might be the best-worst example yet of how lazy filmmakers seem to think shaky handheld cinematography and a faux accidental-documentary facade is a substitute for a well-written script that tells a coherent story populated by characters we enjoy spending time with, even if it’s only in a love-to-hate-them way. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Gallows is a terrible film. That is all you need to know. To revisit it for the purposes of writing a review is the only horrifying effect it yields, being a lazy, uninspired, painfully contrived concoction of everything bad about the found footage subgenre.
Not for one single frame of its mercifully short 81-minute running time does it present any impact or originality, with the movie following a bunch of stupid, borderline sociopathic students as they run around darkened school corridors waiting for the next clearly signposted jolt to arrive. They've been hurled together through a poorly conceived and staggeringly underdeveloped premise involving the staging of a play that was the setting for an accidental death that happened during a performance 20 years earlier at the school.
The story, »
It’s been a good sixteen years since the found footage masterpiece, The Blair Witch Project, came out and helped spark a sub-genre that has yet to fade away. For actor Joshua Leonard, the 1999 film helped kickstart an acting career that is still going strong, with roles in everything from Adam Green’s Hatchet, the horror comedy Bitter Feast and the teenager-aimed hit If I Stay, to roles in TV shows like Hung and Bates Motel. More recently, Leonard appeared in the “requel” (a remake and sequel at the same time) of the 1976 terrifying film, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, with the new version having its feet firmly planted within the meta-approach.
Joshua was nice enough to chat with us a bit about the film, and how The Blair Witch Project is just as effective today as it was in 1999. Read on!
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is an interesting one, »
- Jerry Smith
You know the old saying less is more? Yeah, well, sometimes less is just…less. Such is the way with The Gallows, the new film from lo-fi horror producers Blumhouse (Paranormal Activity, The Purge), which managed the astounding feat of both dragging throughout most of its length and yet having barely anything to show for itself by the time the credits mercifully rolled.
The film takes the tried-and-tired trope of found footage and plays it old school, meaning that it makes no attempts to improve or subvert the formula that’s worked (dubiously) for almost two decades now. High schooler and douchebag jock Ryan is our cameraman for most of the proceedings, as he decides that the only way to make his mandatory drama lessons more interesting is to film everything »
- Mark Allen
Chicago – We all know dramatic films win most of the awards, comedies are hit or miss and horrors often don’t deliver the scares they promise. The problem with the horror genre lately is Hollywood is afraid to go against a “proven” formula (for financial reasons) and really think outside the box.
After 2009’s “Paranormal Activity” took the world by storm (grossing $193 million worldwide on a tiny $15,000 production budget), producing it paved the way for Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions to produce and put his stamp on “Insidious,” “Sinister,” “The Purge,” “Ouija,” “The Lazarus Effect,” “The Boy Next Door,” “Jessabelle,” “Unfriended,” “Oculus” and all of their follow-ups. There pretty much isn’t a horror film released by Hollywood these days without Jason Blum attached to it. That’s a double-edged, monopolistic sword that has been producing new films without continuing to innovate.
So when I first heard about »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
My inner teenager had high hopes for New Line’s “The Gallows,” the latest found-footage horror flick apt to make a hefty payday for superfrugal producer Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity”). You can’t not cheer for the writer-directors, Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, who got discovered after putting a scary trailer for the movie on YouTube. They have some panache, and who doesn’t want to watch four gorgeous friends break into their high school one dark night with a video camera while being hunted by a killer? Sounds like “Carrie” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” meets “The Blair Witch Project. »
- Tim Appelo
Chicago – Horror films have many players, but few contenders. Writer/directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff debut with “The Gallows,” a “found footage” movie about a force that haunts a typical American high school, complete with familiar student types, and touches on the mysteries of unresolved events and their backlash.
In 1993, a student named Charlie Grimmille is killed performing a hangman’s act in the school play called “The Gallows.” Twenty years after this event, the school resurrects the failed production in an attempt to honor the memory of Charlie. When a group of four students break into the school and onto the play’s set after hours, a series of unexpected situations start to occur, for which there is no escape. Lofing and Cluff go “old school” in this overt and psychological horror movie, and the result is a chilling fright fest, containing the “presence” of unseen forces.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Every article on found footage horror must open with a comment on the ubiquitous nature of the genre. They’re everywhere. They’re cheap. They’re profitable. Typically there’s a hint of derision, the thought that the filmmakers were too cheap to shoot an actual film and thus cobbled together a couple people off the street and cameras at the local Best Buy to shoot a movie and turn a profit. The thought that the genre is less an art form but more a commodity. At their very best though, found footage transcends such complaining, blurring fact and fiction, convincing viewers the illusions projected onto a screen are in fact reality. Cannibal Holocaust, Man Bites Dog, The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity all deftly walked this tight rope between fiction & non. That there have been so many pale imitations in their wake shouldn’t reflect poorly on the genre or these films itself. »
- Tommy Cook
On the surface, Creep looks like yet another found footage movie and the kind that Blumhouse Productions keeps churning out month after month. But once you watch it, you’ll discover something different and far more unnerving about it.
The film follows Aaron (Patrick Brice, who also co-wrote and directed), a videographer who accepts an offer from a man named Josef (Mark Duplass) on Craigslist. After they meet, Josef explains that he has terminal cancer and that he wants to record a diary for his unborn son to let him know the kind of person he is a la Michael Keaton in My Life. But as Aaron’s keeps filming Josef, he comes to find that Josef is not at all who he appears to be. In fact, he proves to be far more unhinged than Aaron could ever imagine.
During a recent press day held for Creep in Los Angeles, »
- Ben Kenber
There is a case to be made for home movies as the purest form of cinema. It’s folly, of course, to pit films against one another based on the circumstances under which they were made; to argue what is realer, and thus more valid, than the other. In a camera’s lens, especially, the lines of truth and lies blur and overlap. It’s just that in what we believe to be reality the stakes are always higher, the emotions elevated. One of the first films ever made, the Lumière brothers’ L'arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat, was a succinct 56 seconds that depicted the arrival of a train at its station in Lyon, France. When it was first shown to the public it was the audience’s virgin film-viewing experience, and it was reported that many were frightened by the illusion that the train was coming straight for them. »
- Oliver Skinner
Every so often, a new sub-category of fright film comes along that takes the horror community by surprise, generated by a one film with a simple idea, capturing it onto celluloid, and delivering it to a mass audience. When that one film that starts a revolution and re-vitalizes interest in the genre his it big, it then becomes a blueprint for other films to carbon copy it in hopes of duplicating the same interest and revenue of its successful template. When The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project were made and released, a substantial amount of copy-cat films were made that intended to replicate the same, exact low budget, shaky-cam, cinema verite-style of filmmaking that are still being produced ad nauseam as this review is being written. As with the release of Paranormal Activity, there was a sudden boom in films being made that followed the same formula almost »
- Leonel Benavides
Stars: Ray Wise, Adam Green, Will Barratt, Josh Ethier, Rileah Vanderbilt, Kane Hodder, Sarah Elbert, Tom Holland, Mick Garris, Alex Pardee, Jimmy McCarthy, Nic Henley, Caitlyn Brisbin, Robert Pendergraft | Written and Directed by Adam Green
The problem with found footage movies is sometimes, instead of pulling the audience closer into the action, we end up thinking that the person behind the camera is just an idiot who should have dropped it and run for his life when things got dangerous. However their are rare occassions where you can just enjoy being taken along for the ride… As is the case with Digging Up the Marrow.
Playing himself Adam Green films a documentary about a man, William Dekker (Ray Wise) who contacts him promising proof of the existence of monsters in the world. Taking Will Barratt along with him as camera man he interviews Dekker about the claims, agreeing to investigate the claims. »
- Paul Metcalf
We’re just a few weeks away from the release of The Gallows, kicking off the summer haunting season on Friday, July 10th. It’s the latest in a long line of horror films that fall under the found footage umbrella, which… Continue Reading →
The post 7 Found Footage Horror Movies That Predate The Blair Witch Project appeared first on Dread Central. »
- John Squires
The Gallows Movie Clip. Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing‘s The Gallows (2015) movie clip has been released (1min and 11sec).
The Gallows is a found-footage horror film coming out this summer. According to my latest research, it is not yet rated, but that likely won’t affect the quality of the film at this point. From what I’ve seen of the trailer and the following clip, there’s nothing particularly exciting or even scary, at all, about any of this.
As an aging horror fan, its hard to keep optimistic. The industry reveals itself as a business never more than when horror films are involved. This is why there is about to be an 11th Halloween film, when maybe three of those were good. This is why the current trend of found-footage is being trod to death by imitation of The Blair Witch Project by imitation of Paranormal Activity. »
- Marco Margaritoff
The first official clip for The Gallows has been revealed courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures UK. Also in this round-up: The Town That Dreaded Sundown Blu-ray and DVD details and news on the release of Supernatural Mystery Minis.
The Gallows: A Blumhouse film from Warner Bros. Pictures, The Gallows hits theaters in the U.S. on July 10th. Written and directed by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, The Gallows stars Cassidy Gifford, Ryan Shoos, Reese Mishler, and Pfeifer Brown.
"Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone."
Trailer from MTV:
- Tamika Jones
I have a confession to make: there is something about the urban legend of the snuff film that piques my interest and has for many years. I usually don’t share that with anyone as I don’t want to be seen as someone who could possibly need psychiatric help or be perceived as a sadistic, closeted Ed Gein in the making. Since I first read about the myth of their existence back when I was a budding teen-aged horror fan, I extensively researched films such as Last House on Dead End Street, Cannibal Holocaust and the notorious Snuff – all of which prompted a great deal controversy when they were released. There was a certain fascination about them that stayed with me and that I have never been able to shake off. In the 80’s, partly thanks to Charlie Sheen, they were again brought into mainstream focus when he attended »
- Leonel Benavides
Despite all the praise heaped on it on release, I was never really a fan of Josh Tranks found-footage superhero movie Chronicle. So when Project Almanac was initially announced as a “found-footage time travel movie” I was less than enthusiastic. Imagine my surprise then when the film turned out to not only be a fantastic time travel movie but also one of the best found-footage films Ever made. For me it’s even better than the grand-daddy of them all, The Blair Witch Project.
Project Almanac tells the story of David (Johnny Weston), a brilliant high school student whose skills get him a place at MIT; however a lack of funds means that he can’t attend the only school that will push him academically. »
- Phil Wheat
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