Sunday, September 27, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: The Thing from Another World

Coming Soon...The Thing from Another World. Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Look Out...It's

Howard Hawks' Astounding Movie

Natural or Supernatural?

Where Did It Come From? How Did It Get Here? WHAT IS IT?


No One In This World Can Match The Menace Of "The Thing"

Science-Fiction at its Blood-Curdling Best

Released in 1951 and starring Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, and James Arness, The Thing from Another World was selected by that National Film Preservation Board to be added to added to the Library of Congress's film registry in 2001.

Join us soon to see if The Thing from Another World is...appealing...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Horror Movie Review: An American Haunting

An American Haunting

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, James D'arcy, and Rachel Hurd-Wood

Directed by: Courtney Solomon

Written by: Courtney Solomon based on a novel by Brent Monahan

Production Companies: Allan Zeman Productions, Midsummer Films, Remstar Productions, Media Pro Pictures, After Dark Films, Redbus Pictures, Sweetpea Entertainment

The way I figure it, ghost stories were probably the first supernatural horror stories told. I'm sure the ghost story was probably predated by the tale of a primitive man riding back to his cave on a wooly mammoth when he heard the mammoth let out a yell. He thought that peculiar but rode on. Every so often, however, he would hear his massive ride yell out. When he finally got home, he climbed down off of his steed to discover, dangling in a mammoth hock...a saber tooth! AAAAHHHHH.... But after such primitive, slightly realistic urban legends came the supernatural tales, let's watch...

[wind blowing outside]
Gronk: Thog! What was that!?!

Thog: What was what?
Gronk: Listen...
Wind: [whooooooo]
Gronk: What was that!?!
Thog: Oh no...It's Oot!
Gronk: What!?! But Oot died last week hunting sabretooths.
Thog: Sabreteeth...but it must be his ghost!
Gronk: Ghost? You just made that word up...
Thog: True, and last week I made up "wheel". We have to call the return of a dead caveman without his body something. So...ghost!
Wind: [whoooooooo]
Gronk: What does he want!?!
Thog: Seriously, quit with the unnecessary exclamation points and question marks...But clearly he wants to get vengeance on he whom Oot had to replace in the hunting party because he was "sick". "Sick" with his wife Oolah. Gronk, he's come for YOU!


Ghost stories have come along way since then, but there are still some similarities. An American Haunting delivers the same basic formula. John Bell finds himself in court against Kathe Batts over a land dispute. Bell is fouond guilty of overcharging rent, but Batts, suspected of being a witch, is not satisfied with the settlement.

Soon, Bell's beloved daughter, Betsy, finds herself the target of an angry spirit. At first Bell thinks Batts has sent a slave to harass the girl, but as the attacks worsen with no sign of a physical attacker and Betsy gets worse seeing things, not sleeping, and even being possessed, the Bells have to accept that it's not a man attacking the girl, but a vengeful spirit.

Add a mysterious, savage dog/wolf that comes in the night, and you have a pretty standard ghost story with decent haunts and chills. But, unfortunately, rather than sticking with the ghost, the ending shows that the cause of the strange happenings are a little more down to earth, more or less. The mundane explanation does not provide the Shyamalan that may have been the goal, but rather leaves more questions that spoil the movie.

The tale of the Bell ghost is framed with a modern day mother/daughter family living in the Bell house. Strange things are happening again and a book is discovered giving us Lucy Bell's trials. The account lets the mother realize what's going on with her daughter because, coincidentally, the same is happening. While the framing of the Bell haunting does show that, unfortunately, some things don't ever seem to change, what we wanted was a good ghost story, not a commentary.

Related Videos


Donald Sutherland has been in many horrors thoughout his impressive career, but he's not a genre actor getting roles in everything from dramas to comedies as well. His most recent horror film prior to this ghost tale was 1999's Virus costaqrring with Jamie Lee Curtis and William Baldwin. When the crew of an American tugboat boards an abandoned Russian research vessel, the alien life form aboard regards them as a virus which must be destroyed.

The Ring Two

Sissy Spacek isn't as familiar to the horror genre, but occasionally takes a dive into fear. In 2005, Spacek was seen in The Ring Two with Naomi Watts. Six months after the incidents involving the lethal videotape, new clues prove that there is a new evil lurking in the darkness.

Rise: Blood Hunter

James D'arcy plays a villain in Rise: Blood Hunter with Lucy Liu. A female reporter wakes up in a morgue to find herself a member of the undead. She vows revenge against the cult that put her there and hunts them down.


Brent Monahan had another novel, Death Bite (cowritten by Michael Maryk), put on the big screen as Spasms starring Peter Fonda. A gigantic serpent is captured on a remote island and shipped to an American college for experimentation. A British millionaire and an American scientist find themselves in hot pursuit of the beast when it escapes from captivity and starts to kill innocent people.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: An American Haunting

Coming Soon...An American Haunting. In 2006, in Red River, Tennessee, a teenager has frequent nightmares. Her mother reads an old letter from 1817 written by her ancestor, Lucy Bell. After a dispute of lands judged by the church, her husband John Bell is cursed by his opponent Kathe Batts, who is known for being a witch. From this moment on, an entity threatens John and her daughter Betsy Bell, attacking the girl during the nights. With the support of Betsy's school teacher Richard Powell, who tries to find rational explanations for the manifestation; her brother John Bell Jr.; and their friend James Johnston, who unsuccessfully tries to exorcize the entity from the house, the family does their best to protect Betsy in the haunted house.

An American Haunting

Possession Knows No Bounds

Starring Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, James D'arcy, and Rachel Hurd-Wood, An American Haunting was released on May 5, 2006.

Join us soon to find out if An American Haunting possesses...what it takes...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Near Dark

Near Dark

Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Written by: Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Red

Production Companies: F/M and Near Dark Joint Venture

Awards: Silver Raven Award at the 1988 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film

Release Date: October 2, 1987

Vampire films are a dime a dozen, so finding one that really stands out is hard. So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the fantastic movie Near Dark, and shocked that it took over 20 years before I came across it.

Near Dark follows Caleb, played by Adrian Pasdar better known for his role as Nathan Patrelli in "Heroes". Caleb meets new girl in town Mae (Jenny Wright). He falls for her and things seem to go well until she bites him and runs off as dawn approaches.

As Caleb heads home, he begins to feel sick as the sun rises. Before he makes it home, he's abducted by a strange band of nomads. It's soon discovered that the group are vampires, and now so too is Caleb.

Now a part of the blood-sucking brood, Caleb has to learn how to be a killer or Jesse (Lance Henriksen), the head of the clan is going to kill him.

Meanwhile, Caleb's family is searching for him. Will Caleb become a killer? And what will happen when Caleb's old family and new family meet?

Near Dark drops the more magical elements of vampirism such as turning into bats and controlling fog and such. They are still very strong, though this isn't used much, and resistant to injury even spitting bullets out that have been shot into their lungs. They also don't age as Jesse mentions having fought in the Civil War.

Near Dark isn't played for scares, but drama. There's pretty good use of gore, but it basically abandons the typical trappings of horror films, making this a compelling story of love and staying true to yourself.

Bill Paxton, as usual, steals the show as the sadistic Severen. And fans of James Cameron's Aliens will enjoy seeing Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein who played Bishop, Hudson, and Vasquez respectively.

This is a long forgotten gem worth seeking out. Especially since a remake is in the works for a 2012 release.

Related Trailers

Grey Knight

Adrian Pasdar starred in The Killing Box, released on video as Ghost Brigade and as a director's cut entitled Grey Knight. Slave traders bring back an evil voodoo entity that is accidently freed by the Confederate army during the Civil War. The entity possesses the bodies of the dead soldiers to create an army of its own bent on conquest, using the corpses of both the North and South. Grey Knight also featured Corben Burnsen, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, and David Arquette.

I, Madman

Jenny Wright also starred in 1989's I, Madman. Virginia works at a used book store. She's really into horror novels and discovers a really good book. It's called "I, Madman" and it's about an insane doctor who cuts off people's noses, ears, and hair and puts them on his face to please a girl he likes. Only Virginia discovers that the book is nonfiction, and every time she picks up the book to read it, she sees him. The insane doctor from the book has escaped the book into our reality.

Man's Best Friend

Lance Henriksen has appeared in many horror movies including Man's Best Friend with Ally Sheedy. A genetically mutated dog is accidentally released from the lab of Dr. Jarret and ends up at the home of news reporter/animal rights advocate Lori Tanner. The dog, Max, endowed with intelligence and other special abilities, is at first lovable, but also proves to be a ferocious, unstoppable killer.

Brain Dead

Bill Paxton starred alongside Bill Pullman in Brain Dead. Dr. Rex Martin is a leading neurosurgeon specializing in the cerebral misfunctions that cause mental illnesses, whose expertise is called up by an old school chum, Jim Reston, who is now part of the mega-corporation Eunice. Reston needs Dr. Martin's help in extracting crucial data from the mind of John Halsey, once a top mathematician at Eunice, now paranoid in the local asylum. Can Dr. Martin help both Halsey and his friend, or is he getting caught up in a corporate nightmare from which he may never escape?


Jenette Goldstein also starred in 2008's Autopsy. A young woman tries to find her injured boyfriend in a bizzare and dangerous hospital.


Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, and Jenette Goldstein all featured in Aliens.

The Hitcher

Eric Red also wrote The Hitcher. A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.