Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. In this edition, we visit the dark web for a peek behind the digital curtain in search of the sequel to the Sandra Bullock hit The Net!)
Everyone knows the interweb is a scary place, but some of us are old enough to remember a time when the promise of an online wealth of information sounded like a good thing. Hollywood was even quicker than the real world in dissuading us of the notion, though, as they rushed to develop and release cautionary tales about the nightmare heading our way across dial-up phone lines and digital threads. Movies like Hackers (1995), Strangeland (1998), and You’ve Got Mail (1998) terrified viewers with the possibilities, but it was 1995’s The Net that really drove the point home.
If our lives are nothing more than a series of zeroes and ones, then we’re all just a keystroke away from being erased forever. The concept’s less frightening now that I have student loan debt, but in the mid ’90s? Nightmare fuel. Well, in theory. The Net isn’t exactly a good movie, let alone a classic thriller too precious for a low-rent straight to DVD follow-up. It’s fine.
That’s good news for a sequel, though, right? New filmmakers have less of a hill to climb in the hopes of matching the original and only need to deliver a solid, competent thriller. Unfortunately, we got The Net 2.0 (2006) instead.
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Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by Rob Hunter
This coming weekend sees the release of a new horror movie hoping to scare audiences out of a few bucks, and we’re hoping it delivers despite seeming destined to open lower than a certain other horror movie heading into its third weekend. I’m looking at you, Stephen King’s IT.
If nothing else, Friend Request stands apart from the old-fashioned thrills of killer clowns and pervy dads by hitching its jump scare-filled wagon to something far trendier. Yes, of course I’m referring to the dangers of social media. The film sees a popular young woman accept a friend request from someone much lower on the social ladder, but when she realizes her faux pas and ends the “friendship,” she discovers a demonic presence who isn’t too keen on saying goodbye.
The internet has offered an enormous boon to commerce, education, and cowardice, but while it brings users together there’s no doubt it’s also keeping people apart. The idea of humanity losing touch with the very connections that make us human is frightening enough in the abstract, but over the years, filmmakers have found and focused on very specific nightmares related to our increasingly online existence. The resulting movies haven’t all been winners – sorry Smiley and Open Windows – but a few have tapped into universally felt fears easily enhanced and magnified by the global nature and anonymity of the online world.
Keep reading for a look at the eight scariest internet-related horror movies.
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Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2015 by Angie Han
1995 doesn’t feel like it was so very long ago. If you were alive in that era, you probably still remember oohing and ahhing over Toy Story‘s CG-animated surfaces for the very first time, or meeting a brand new 007 in Pierce Brosnan. But in fact, you are wrong. 1995 really was that long ago. At least we still have some favorites of the era to take us back. Even if we’re now streaming them on iTunes instead of popping them into our VCRs.
We’re not saying these are the best films of 1995 — that’s a conversation for another time — but these are the ones that stuck with us. Some because they’ve become reliable favorites, some because they still feel remarkably fresh, and others because they’re so hilariously 1995, they couldn’t possibly have been made at any other time. Join us in revisiting 20 films turning 20 in 2015 after the jump.
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