The Spine of Night trailer

The Amazon series Undone is the last significant film or television project I can think of that used rotoscoping to push the television medium forward, but an upcoming SXSW film is using that labor-intensive technique to capture a sense of the past.

The Spine of Night, a new ultra-violent fantasy horror film that debuts at next week’s virtual film festival, is made in the style of artists like Ralph Bakshi and Frank Franzetta and recalls projects like Heavy Metal and Fire & Ice. And it has a great cast to boot: Richard E. Grant (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio), and more lend their voices to this movie. Take a look at the trailer below.
Read More »

depraved trailer

Indie horror guru Larry Fessenden hasn’t directed a feature film since 2013, but he’s returning with Depraved. The film is a reimagining of Frankenstein, told through Fessenden’s own unique lens. Starring David Call, Joshua Leonard, Alex Breaux, Ana Kayne, Maria Dizzia, Chloë Levine, Owen Campbell and Addison TimlinDepraved will have its world premiere this month at What the Fest!?, and in honor of the festival debut, the first Depraved trailer is here. Watch it below.

Read More »

New Larry Fessenden Movie

Indie horror master Larry Fessenden made a name for himself directing a series of truly independent horror films, and now he’s set to return to filmmaking with the Frankenstein-inspired film Depraved. It will be Fessenden’s first feature film since 2013’s Beneath. More on the new Larry Fessenden movie below.

Read More »

like me

Whoever still generalizes January as a cinematic wasteland has clearly not watched Robert Mockler’s Like Me. This is an introspective timebomb that bursts with ambition, execution and payoff, all the while told through a lens that burns with the vibrant fluorescence of this first timer’s splash-making debut. Mockler has a vision that’s never sacrificed; boundaries are tested by setting the screen ablaze with neon tragedies. January is for phoned-in franchise five-quels – what’s this cautionary social media takedown think it‘s doing around these parts?

The film’s star, Addison Timlin, manipulates her way through a gonzo road trip fueled by “likes” and “shares” on internet posts. The crazier her stunts – from robberies to kidnappings – the more people discuss her abstract artistry. She craves attention like a drug, caught up in a sea of endorphins that spike whenever content goes viral. Unfortunately for her latest muse, a schlubby motel owner played by indie horror legend Larry Fessenden (who also produced the film), this means there’s no telling when her antics will stop.

I had the pleasure of moderating a post-screening Q&A of Like Me alongside Mockler and Fessenden in New York City this past week, which we primed with an interview at a local diner beforehand. The three of us sat and chatted about our views on social media, tried not to gag while recalling some thematic food usage, and grappled with the business ins-and-outs of indie filmmaking. Here are two honest creators talking about how Like Me came to form – and how nothing was going to stop them.

Read More »

We Are Still Here trailer

Riding a wave of good festival showings and positive reviews, the horror film We Are Still Here begins to hit theaters and VOD this weekend. Ted Geoghegan made the film as his directorial debut, and the story follows a couple as they attempt to put a traumatic loss behind them by moving to a nice house out in the New England countryside. But the house has secrets, and it hungers. There’s clearly a vein of humor that runs through this one, alongside inspiration from Lovecraft and some other weird fiction. Check out the new We Are Still Here trailer below. Read More »

 

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we find our own Personal Jesus, trigger warning: we power through sexual abuse, talk about our sweet tattoos, get touched by Big Bird and dig deep into a real-life conspiracy.
Read More »

ABCs of Death

The horror anthology V/H/S did well enough that a sequel went into production pretty fast, and you can already see the red-band trailer for V/H/S/2 from Magnet. Now another Magnet-released anthology, The ABCs of Death, is also going to be followed by a sequel.

The hook for The ABCs of Death was that the film featured 25 directors (and a 26th crowd-sourced entry) making short films based around a single letter. The sequel will take the same approach, and as with the first film the hook isn’t the concept, but the people bringing it to life. The new crew includes animator Bill Plympton, Day of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la Iglesia, and Room 237 director Rodney Ascher. More participants in the gruesome sequel are listed below. Read More »

ti-west1

Next month, one of my favorite independent and more outspoken directors of late, Ti West, will begin shooting a follow-up to last year’s breakout hit about Satanic Panic The House of The Devil. Filming on location in Connecticut (where THotD was also shot) and entitled The Innkeepers, the film is said to follow “the last two staffers at a hotel that’s going out of business”—a hotel that may have ghostly occupants. When I previously emailed West to see if The Shining would be an influence and whether the film addresses “reality” tv shows like Ghost Hunters, he wrote back: “This movie incorporates and comments on the trend of those type shows etc. but is also a very classic ghost story. I’m psyched. I think it blends the classic ghost story style with a solid modern twist.  It will be really fun, fresh and scary.”

In a new chat with FearNet at SXSW, where West was speaking on a horror panel, he dished out more tidbits on the project. The haunted hotel that’s central to the story is actually the same hotel he and his crew stayed at while making THotD, and the plot will be informed by “a lot of [his] experiences there.” Similar to what he shared with /Film, West goes on to say The Innkeepers will be scarier than THotD, will also have a healthy number of jokes, and will “definitely be more commercial than THotD” but with an “indie sensibility that will make it unique.”

More details below. And we’ll go ahead and tack on a NSFW list of the top five things we dig about West’s Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, the super gory straight-to-DVD sequel he has disowned following creative differences with Lionsgate…

Read More »

Ti West to Direct The Innkeepers

ti_west

Following on from House of the Devil, his film about a young hipster girl very, very slowly walking up and down corridors and eventually crossing paths with possible ‘Special Guest Star’ devil worshippers, it seems that Ti West is to make another “truly terrifying” picture. One man’s tedium is another man’s terror, I suppose.

Variety report that West’s film The Innkeepers will be about “the last two staffers of a haunted hotel that’s going out of business”. At least they’ll have each other to talk to.

Larry Fessenden‘s Glass Eye Pix are backing the film, as they did House of the Devil, The Roost and Trigger Man.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

orphanage_1

An English-language remake of Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantastic horror film The Orphanage has been in the works since that film’s release two years ago. At first, we reported that producer Guillermo del Toro had chosen Wendigo director Larry Fessenden to helm the project, but those plans fell apart a few months after they were announced. Now we’ve learned that Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road director Mark Pellington has been tasked to direct the remake.

Read More »