Friday, June 15, 2018

These 14 Cameras See Everything: A Film Review

Directors: Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion.

Writer: Victor Zarcoff.

Cast: Amber Midthunder, Tait Fletcher and Sharon Anne Henderson.

14 Cameras is a follow-up to 2015's 13 Cameras aka Slumlord. Writer Victor Zarcoff has written both films. But, this time, the sequel has been co-directed by Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion. A familiar villain returns. In the heart of New Mexico, a family is being stalked through hidden cameras. Every intimate moment is filmed. Very much a kidnap thriller, 14 Cameras confines some of the characters, while spying on others. All of the characters are well-defined as Zarcoff gives even the minor characters something to deal with. The finale is great, with the world's worst landlord coming out from behind the walls to show his true malevolence. 14 Cameras is a decent kidnap thriller, especially if you hate happy endings.

After seeing so many films, this film fan and critic has developed his own genres, including the kidnap thriller. These types of films put a victim or victims in a locked room or basement. Meanwhile, the captor lurks about, tormenting his prey. Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Nine Dead (2010) are two more examples of kidnap thrillers. In both of these films, there is not just confinement but psychological torture. In 14 Cameras, the villain is a voyeur, watching a family through a series of hidden cameras. This slumlord has a couple of characters locked away in a buried cargo container; he is ready to capture more. But, this villain is mostly a voyeur, only forced into kidnapping when there is no other alternative.

In the meantime, the characters play out their own dramas. Danielle (Amber Midthunder), one of the protagonists, is a guest of the family and staying at the vacation home. She is dealing with a cheating boyfriend, while also noticing that her undergarments are going missing. With the creeper nowhere to be seen, Danielle blames her friend's brother, Kyle (John-Paul Howard). Kyle is trying to convince others of his innocence. Not much farther away, other characters are dealing with more pressing issues. Two women are prisoners and held below ground. One victim wants to fight back, while the other has given up on any hopes of escape. Their different desires lead to more conflict. Still other characters are struggling to understand their role in a world with a killer and kidnapper. Zarcoff has created a number of interesting characters, within 14 Cameras. Most viewers will be able to identify with someone on the screen.

Finally, the film offers a worst-case renting scenario. If the rent is too good to be true, then there is a reason. The family gets their villa for a mere $400 a week. But, they also get a lurking creeper, who uses their toothbrush, or spies on them when they are changing. Gerald (Neville Archambault) as he is innocuously named, is the world's worst landlord. He does everything viewers' would fear. He smells the characters' clothes, when they are away. Or, he tries on their lip balm. Very strange looking, this creeper is very technologically adept. And, some of the scenes are shown through his many hidden cameras. If you ever see a balding man with bulging eyes and a rental offer, skip to the next advert'. You can thank this reviewer later.

14 Cameras is slated for a Digital release, this Summer. Very much a kidnap thriller, 14 Cameras brings a renting nightmare to the screen. Every character is dealing with some sort of trouble. Though, the confined characters are bearing the brunt of the challenges. There was no catharsis for this viewer, with one despicable character escaping to a foreign country. Still, the finale was explosive. Two villains fight over the remaining minor characters. Not really a horror film, this title is for those looking for a well written story. Just don't expect all of the plot details to be wrapped up in a nice bow as this package has more camera equipment and handcuffs inside.

Overall: 6.75 out of 10.

A trailer for this film is available on 28DLA: A 14 Cameras Trailer on 28DLA

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Night Eats the World Plays to Applause this Summer in the United Kingdom

The Night Eats the World is a Paris shot zombie thriller. Adapted from Pit Agarmen's novel, the film's French title is La nuit a dévoré le monde. Already released in France, The Night Eats the World is set for a United Kingdom DVD launch, in August. This dramatic horror film was developed by first time French director Dominque Rocher. And now, a trailer has debuted for this quieter take on the zombie apocalypse.

A few early reviews have already begun to roll in for this title. From Europe, Cineuropa focuses on what sets The Night Eats the World apart from other films in the zombie horror sub-genre: "[the film] choos[es] minimalism, isolation and psychological survival behind closed doors, and...focusing on a character who becomes a kind of Robinson Crusoe in the heart of Paris." This is solitary survival in a big city. Meanwhile in North America, the Hollywood Reporter mentions some of the mundane details of surviving in such a dire situation: "Rocher devotes lots of screen time to chronicle the mundane aspects of Sam’s existence. We watch how he rations dry goods to eat, collects rainwater on the rooftop and makes the rounds of the other apartments in the hopes of finding the bare necessities to stay alive." Unless prepared, most people only have a few days of food and water, in which to survive a cataclysm. As well, most of the early reviews have been positive towards the film, overall.

In the United Kingdom, the film will be available on August 27th, in a PAL DVD format. The film stars Anders Danielson Lie (Personal Shopper), Golshifteh Farahani (Peterson) and Denis Lavant. The Night Eats the World has a ninety minute runtime and has been rated 15, in the UK. Fans of more dramatic zombie-infused thrillers are encouraged to find the film later this Summer, with the UK trailer available below.

Release Date: August 27th, 2018 (UK, DVD).

Director: Dominique Rocher.

Writers: Pit Agarmen, Jérémie Guez, Guillaume Lemans, Dominique Rocher.

Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant and Sigrid Bouaziz.

A trailer for The Night Eats the World (courtesy of Signature Entertainment):

*there are plans to release the film, in the U.S.A., through Blue Fox Entertainment. A release date has not been announced, yet.

A movie review, for the film, at Cineuropa: The Night Eats the World Review at Cineuropa

The Hollywood Reporter Reviews The Night Eats the World (Jordan Mintzer): The Night Eats the World Reviewed at the Hollywood Reporter

More details on The Night Eats the World at Signature Entertainment: The Night Eats the World Story Details at Signature

Can readers see influences from another infected/zombie thriller here (28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later Double Feature):

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Writer Gary Dauberman Brings Both Dark and Light to this First Trailer for The Nun

Tagline: "Witness the Darkest Chapter in The Conjuring Universe."

The Nun is the latest horror film, set in The Conjuring universe. Originally developed by director James Wan, The Conjuring universe has developed into both Annabelle storylines and now The Nun. The Nun has been directed by Corin Hardy of The Hallow (2016) fame. This title, like Annabelle: Creation, was written by Gary Dauberman. Dauberman has recently been interviewed on some of his latest films. In these interviews, he mentions the need for a Gothic setting. He also talks about The Conjuring universe and how his faith influences his writings. Meanwhile, the first trailer, for The Nun, has been released and the clip can be found below.

Dauberman has talked about the setting of the film and its influences, with Collider. Writer Dauberman mentions the need for Gothic elements, sometimes captured in Romanian architecture: "it’s gotta be in Romania because of certain story elements, but also because of the production value you get from like, a castle in Transylvania, and this big looming thing, and you get the cross and the fog over the graveyard." Dauberman mentions the influences of Hammer films, from the past: "we talked a lot about the Hammer movies and stuff like that as sort of an influence. So it’s got that kind of vibe to it that I think it’s just different and sets it apart." This film fan knows Hammer films for their use of vampires and creatures to create tension. Their name is well known in the horror film industry.

In another interview, Dauberman talks about how his faith influences his writing in the horror genre. With the Herald, Dauberman mentions how his own spirituality creates both a dark and light world, in his scriptwriting: "I'm a believer, so I believe evil and demonic entities are out there - but so is God, and so is good. Even as dark and scary as these movies can get, there's always that safety net. If evil is true, the opposite must also be true." You can see some of these influences in the trailer as one initiate is deceived by a shadow, in an underground crypt. The scene does not play out as a viewer might expect. Evil is always unpredictable.

Warner Bros. is set to show The Nun, in theatres, this September. The film stars Oscar nominated actor Damian Bichir ("A Better Life"), Taisssa Farmiga ("American Horror Story") and Jonas Bloguet (Elle). As well, Bonnie Aarons reprises her role from The Conjuring 2. All of these actors will bring something truly dark to their roles as seen in this first trailer for The Nun.

Release Date: September 7th, 2018 (Theatrical).

Director: Corin Hardy.

Writers: Gary Dauberman.

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope

The first trailer for The Nun:

The film's homepage, with more details: The Nun Movie Website

An interview with Gary Dauberman at Collider: A Dauberman Interview on Setting

Dauberman at the Herald: A Dauberman Interview on His Spiritual Influences

Another familiar horror title written by Dauberman (Annabelle: Creation):

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Delirium and Acknowledging Your Own Cast of Characters: A Jungian Analysis

*there are some mild spoilers here.

Director: Dennis Iliadis.

Writer: Adam Alleca.

Cast: Topher Grace, Genesis Rodriguez, Patricia Clarkson.

Carl Jung was a depth psychologist from Kesswill, Switzerland. Mentored by Sigmund Freud, Jung would develop his own psychological concepts such as the collective unconscious, individuation, shadow work and many others. In Dennis Iliadis and Adam Alleca's Delirium, there are a number of psychological elements that emerge from the very troubled protagonist, Thomas (Topher Grace). Without his medications, all sorts of characters begin to appear on-screen, from his unconscious, like: his Shadow (as Alex), his Anima (as Lynn) and still further characters, late in the film. Delirium is an interesting picture for including so many examples of Jung's research and work.

According to Jung, the integration of the shadow is "apprentice-work" and facing the Anima is "master-work" (Scott). However, the character Thomas begins in the middle (Anima) and works back to the Shadow. Just released from a mental institute, Thomas quickly meets a girl, from a local supermarket. Lynn (Genesis Rodriguez) is curious though troubled; she is also a representation of Thomas' Anima. The Anima, according to Jung, is the opposite gendered representation of ourselves, which lies within the psyche. Lynn is an external representation of Thomas' own inner feminine. She helps him with some of the things he needs (nurturing). As well, she almost knows what is in Thomas' head before he knows it. This occurs because Lynn is a part of Thomas' own psyche.

After introducing Lynn, a more devious character enters the picture. Alex (Callan Mulvey) may or may not be Thomas' brother. The protagonist is so "messed up in the head" that his narration and protagonist's point-of-view cannot be trusted. However, it does become apparent, to this viewer and likely to other researchers of Jung, that Alex is an image of Thomas' Shadow. From Jung, the Shadow is often a split-off part of ourselves, that we would prefer to disown. It houses all of the negative emotions or parts of ourselves that we would prefer not to grapple with, such as: disgust, hostility, aggression, guilt, or anything else that we find shameful. When the Shadow is not integrated, these parts of ourselves are often repressed and pushed down into the psyche, or projected onto others. The ego does its best to keep these parts of ourselves hidden from view, unless shadow work is performed (artistry, journaling). The character Thomas has no time for any of this as his shadow destroys much of his own waking life.

Jung was also know for his dream work. Through our dreams, the unconscious can be explored, through analysis. In dream work, the ocean or a pool can represent the unconscious (Currents). Within Delirium, Thomas is constantly drawn to an indoor pool. Here, monsters emerge to shock him. Or, Alex attempts to drown him - later. Meanwhile, just below the pool, at least one other character remains hidden from Thomas' view (and the viewer's). He must confront this character and a mother complex, before he can become more psychologically integrated and less encumbered by all of his repressed material. Thomas' journey to greater self-awareness begins with this pool of water and what lies within.

Delirium is an interesting psychological thriller. Yet, this viewer could not help but be reminded of all of Jung's work in psychology, while watching this recent release. All of the characters, in the film, are a part of Thomas' psyche and often dressed in black (also associated with the unconscious). He struggles to fight parts of himself (the Shadow), while reaching out to other, softer parts (his Anima). The entire home, in which the film is set, is a representation of Thomas' psyche, at large. And, the finale in the pool with a muted character is an example of Thomas pulling parts of himself out of his unconscious to grapple with, instead of hiding them from himself (repression). Finally, it is always interesting to see a film not just as an entertainment piece, but as an exploration of a writer's self and the many characters that lie within.

Scott Jeffrey's gives a great introduction on some of the Jungian concepts mentioned here: An Introduction to Jungian Concepts at Scott Jeffrey

A brief introduction of water as the unconscious at Jung Currents: Water Definitions at Jung Currents

A trailer, for Delirium, can be seen here - on 28DLA: A Delirium Trailer on 28DLA

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Monday, June 11, 2018

A Taste of Phobia Tests the Limits of Fear (Out June 26th)!

Tagline: "14 International Directors Push Fear to the Limit."

Artsploitation Films is set to bring fourteen tales of terror to horror audiences. This horror anthology includes films from Italy, North America, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The fourteen tales cover topics like astrophobia (fear of the stars) and somniophobia (fear of sleep). Characters must face their fears, before they grow worse. A selection of the directors include: Domiziano Cristopharo, Jason Impey and Sunny King. This anthology will be available in late June. And, the film's release details are available here.

The very gory trailer shows characters in the middle of their fears. A woman has the hairs of leg removed in "Caetophobia (fear of hairs)." The results are a bit stomach churning. A porn shoot moves ahead, at a slow speed in "Partenophobia" (fear of virgins). And, the trailer for A Taste of Phobia is not for those afflicted with hemophobia (fear of blood) as it splashes everywhere on screen.

Artsploitation Films will show A Taste of Phobia on DVD this June 26th. This release will include English and Spanish subtitles. As well, this title is being released in a unrated format. With a 90 minute runtime, this anthology includes very concise short films, which should not be missed later this month.

Release Date: June 26th, 2018 (DVD).

Directors: Domiziano Cristopharo, Jason Impey, Sunny King, Sam Mason-Bell, Tony Newton....

Writers: Sophia Cacciola, Andrea Cavaletto, Michael J. Epstein, Alessandro Giordani...

The very NSFW trailer (mature audiences):

A Taste of Phobia at Artsploitation Films: A Taste of Phobia Details at Artsploitation

The film is available for pre-orders here:

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Friday, June 08, 2018

14 Cameras Spies From Behind the Walls on an Unsuspecting Family (Trailer)

Tagline: "He's Not the Only One Watching..."

14 Cameras is the follow-up to the 2015 film 13 Cameras. The original was well received by critics. In the sequel, a family of four is being secretly recorded, by a creepy old man; but, he is not the only viewer. Shot in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 14 Cameras is being distributed by Gravitas Ventures. The film stars: Neville Archambault, Amber Midthunder, Chelsea Edmundson and Brianne Moncrief. And, 14 Cameras was co-directed by Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion. The film's official movie poster and an early still are hosted here.

The official synopsis sets up the film and the family. This small family rent a beautiful home, on their summer vacation. Behind the walls, a man has set up a number of spy cameras. They record the family's every move and every intimate moment. When a camera is discovered, the family realize why this vacation felt too-good-to-be-true.

Gravitas will show this indie horror title this summer. 14 Cameras will be available in theatres and on Digital this July 27th. Film fans can see how the story progresses as one family's vacation is broadcast across the dark web.

Release Date: July 27th, 2018 (Limited Theatrical & VOD).

Directors: Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion.

Writer: Victor Zarcoff.

Cast: Amber Midthunder, Tait Fletcher, Sharon Anne Henderson.

The official trailer for 14 Cameras:

More details on the film will be available at Gravitas Ventures, shortly: The Gravitas Ventures Homepage

The original won a "Best North American Feature" award at the Nevermore Film Festival (on DVD):

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Michael Myers Returns to Haddonfield in this First Trailer for Halloween!

David Gordon Green's Halloween film is the eleventh in the series. Following Rob Zombie's 2007 and 2009 reimaginings, this latest Halloween film takes place fourty years after the original 1978 title. The storyline has been altered slightly, with Michael Myers no longer Laurie Strode's brother. The first trailer also shows two prison reporters visiting this killer, in confinement. This sequel stars: Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, 1978), Judy Greer and Will Patton. The full trailer, from Universal Pictures, is hosted below.

Many of the producers are well known, on this title. John Carpenter returns to the series as creative consultant and executive producer. Jason Blum (Get Out, 2017) is also a producer, with Blumhouse Productions behind-the-camera on this title. Halloween releases October 19th, in theatres. Horror fans can preview this latest Halloween below as Myers promises to haunt the folks of Haddonfield one more time!

Release Date: October 19th, 2018 (Theatrical).

Director: David Gordon Green.

Writers: John Carpenter (characters), Jeff Fradley.

Cast: Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Virginia Gardner, Andi Matichak, Will Patton.

The first trailer for Halloween:

The official site for Halloween: An Official Homepage for Halloween

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Thursday, June 07, 2018

CHC '18: The Best of the Fest' at this Year's Calgary Horror Convention

The Calgary Horror Convention has been running for eight years, now. This year's event ran from June 2nd to the 3rd. The convention brings lots of interesting things and people to a very large event centre, in Calgary's north-east. The 2018 event brought a number of special events, to horror fans. As well, there were lots of vendors in attendance. This event also hosted lots of celebrities, for panels and photographs. And, the Calgary Horror Con' continues to bring horror fans together for a great time.

There were a few special events this horror fan managed to get to. There was a V.I.P. meet and greet to start the convention, on the Friday. Horror fans could meet some of the celebrities, here. There was also an early screening of the psychological horror film The Basement (2018) on Sunday. This showing was truly gruesome as mentioned in a previous article and review. There was also a costume contest, to close out the show. Fans were dressed as the villain from the latest It (2017) film. Others were dressed as: characters from Aliens (1986), Leatherface (pictured) post-apocalyptic nomads and many others. There were characters from many films and a few randoms, that were created uniquely. Their costumes and the film were truly frightening.

Also, there were well over 50 plus vendors to meet. Sellers had underground movies to sell. There were a few jewelry vendors and costume purveyors. Others could meet craft makers, artists and models. This horror fan picked up a t-shirt and several indie horror titles. Lots of the merchandise was rare and hard-to-get. The large number of vendors offered a little something for everyone.

There were also a number of celebrities to meet. They were dispersed throughout the hall. Actor James Remar ("Dexter") was set up right beside the Shivers Entertainment booth, where this attendee was located. Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead, 1978), Tiffany Shepis (Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula, 2008), PJ Soles (Halloween, 1978), Linda Blair (Savage Streets), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) and many others were in attendance. Each celebrity was available for a panel, on Saturday or Sunday. Many of the celebrities answered questions and talked to fans. They also spoke about their history in the film industry. Only Blair had to cancel, likely due to the huge line for her autograph. This film fan even received a signature from Shepis on the DVD cover of Adam Green's Victor Crowley (2017); that was a treat. Almost all of the celebrities were interesting and friendly to meet.

The Calgary Horror Convention continues to be one of the strongest horror conventions in Western Canada. There are lots of films to see. Fans should bring a big pocketbook to take home some gruesome goodies and watchables. Future attendees should bring a bigger pocketbook, if you want those purchases signed. Everyone should attend the opening night party, to meet other fans and watch the stage show. Finally, this event is a memorable one and a great opportunity to meet people in the wider horror community.

More details at the Calgary Horror Con's website: The Calgary Horror Con' Homepage

The Globe Cinema in Calgary: The Globe Cinema Homepage

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