Saturday, October 13, 2018

What the Waters Left Behind Borrows from the Best: A Film Review

*full disclosure: this reviewer has promoted this film through online marketing, previously.

Directors/writers: Luciano Onetti, Nicolás Onetti.

Cast: German Baudino, Paula Brasca, Mirta Busnelli, Victorio D'Alessandro and Victoria Maurette.

What the Waters Left Behind is a slasher film, from the Onetti brothers (Luciano, Nicolas). Known as Los Olvidados (The Forgotten) in Argentina, this title lifts the story of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) for a South American audience. Though, horror fans in North America will be able to see What the Waters Left Behind, on Amazon Prime, this month (Oct. 26th). This release is full of horror tropes. From a freaky gas station to a cannibal family, you have likely seen this film before. Still, the Onetti brothers have chosen a few interesting locations, including an entire destroyed city. And, the filmmakers admit that they have been influenced by American cinema, including Hooper's earlier effort. What the Waters Left Behind is a bit unoriginal, but this title brings enough horror to the screen for an exciting watch.

The film begins and ends with horror tropes. In the opening scene, a nearly naked young woman is chased by an off-screen villain. A number of horror movies have opened this way. In the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there is a similar scene, where a woman is chased by a crazy-with-a-chainsaw. This trope is followed by another with a group of partiers on a road trip, to some remote town. In The Blackburn Asylum (2015), everyone is also out on a camping trip, similar to this film and hundreds of others. There is also the prerequisite sketch gas station, here. From William Dear's Simon Says (2006) to Night of Something Strange (2015), there is almost always a disturbing fill-up station to visit (before dying), in horro. These locations often serve as a reminder that the characters are leaving civilization (urban) for the rural. Horror usually happens on the border of nature and civilization. What the Waters Left Behind follows a horror formula and rarely steps outside a connect-the-dots series of tropes.

And, the story introduces another cliche. Several characters are set to visit a remote location, to shoot a documentary. The characters have brought Carla (Victoria Maurette) back to her hometown, Epecuen. Here, Carla relives some of the horrifying moments, when her town was flooded. She lost several brothers, but hopes to make new friends, through the filmmaking process and inevitable cannibal dinner. At Epecuen, there is another, minor character - searching for a lost family member. He teams up with these documentarians, when the villains appear. From here on out, everything takes place in a matadero, or slaughterhouse. These later sights cannot be unseen.

Luciano and Nicolas Onetti have scouted a proper location, for What the Waters Left Behind. This real life location, which was destroyed by flooding, looks truly apocalyptic. The brothers utilize a drone, to show the audience the true devastation. The Onettis also show a picturesque sunset, just before the action reaches its climax. Late scenes, inside the slaughterhouse, look just as impressive and terrifying. These later scenes look shot in a scarehouse or haunted house ride. The walls drip blood and so do many of the characters. This film shows a number of interesting sets and locations, which are often eye-poppingly good.

Still, this title is very much a remake of Hooper's early work, on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The brothers even admit their influences in an early interview: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [is] one of our favorite films, the original...we went for the slasher (Cinefania)." Including the scenes mentioned above, this title incorporates a looming freak. He does not wear a flesh mask, like Leatherface. Nonetheless, he is a mute character, with a large weapon. As well, all of the villains are cannibals, ready to eat their new guests. It is just too bad that this interpretation did not include a grandpa, for the final course. The Onetti brothers have not really improved on this earlier material, outside of some of the locations. So, What the Waters Left Behind does not have as many surprises as it could.

What the Waters Left Behind is slated for a Digital release, this October 26th, on Amazon Prime. Fans of foreign horror can take a look at the Onetti brothers' latest, after the success of mystery thriller Francesca (2015). Very much influenced and some could say stolen from Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, What the Waters Left Behind brings cannibal horror to a new audience. Though full of tropes, What the Waters Left Behind brings a lot of true horror, in the film's final minutes. There is no softening of the on-screen violence, here. As well, this title utilizes its exterior and interior sets, or locations to visually amaze. Not easily forgotten, What the Waters Left Behind brings an Argentinian flavour to the slasher genre, which will satisfy many horror fans' bloodlust.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

*the villa of Epecuen was flooded by 33' of water, after a freak rainstorm and the destruction of a dam.

An interview with the Onetti brothes at Cinefania: Luciano and Nicolas Onetti on What the Waters Left Behind

A Homepage for the Film: What the Waters Left Behind at Black Mandala

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Friday, October 12, 2018

The Terror of Hallow's Eve Summons Revenge and Finds Only More Terror

Tagline: "Careful What You Ask For."

The Terror of Hallow's Eve is an upcoming indie horror film. From director and make-up effects guru Todd Tucker, the film was written by: Zack Ward (Don't Blink, 2014), Ronald L. Halvas and Tucker. In the film, a teenager is savagely beaten by a group of bullies. He summons a dark entity for revenge as seen in the official trailer. As well, The Terror of Hallow's Eve had an appearance at Morbidofest earlier this year. Now, the film is slated for a DVD release, through MTI Home Video. Details on the release are hosted below.

The trailer shows Tim (Caleb Thomas) infatuated with a young girl. However, she is already dating another. When the two young men meet, one is nearly crippled in the encounter. Now, Tim is ready for revenge and makes a pact with a dark entity. It is only a matter of time until these dark forces make things even worse for this summoner.

MTI Home Video will show the film in December. On December 11th, the DVD will be available to the horror masses. This release will not host many extras outside of additional trailers. However, this is an award winning film, with lots of indie charm. Fans of indie horror can find more on The Terror of Hallow's Eve below.

Release Date: December 11th, 2018 (DVD).

Director: Todd Tucker.

Writers: Ronald L. Halvas, Todd Tucker and Zack Ward.

Cast: Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read Annie Read, JT Neal, Mcabe Gregg, Niko Papastefanou and Doug Jones.

The official trailer for The Terror of Hallow's Eve (courtesy of Shoreline Entertainment):

The Terror of Hallow's Eve at MTI: The Terror of Hallow's Eve Details at MTI Video

MTI will also release another horror film, Burnt Offering, on October 23rd (on DVD):

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pet Sematary Unearths Classic Stephen King for the Big Screen: First Trailer

Tagline: "Sometimes Dead is Better."

A new horror film is coming by way of Stephen King's Pet Sematary. This latest production is from Paramount Pictures. And, this film brings a fresh look to some old material. Horror fans will already know that the first film, from director Mary Lambert, debuted in 1989. This film was followed-up by a sequel in 1992, titled Pet Sematary II. Most recently, a documentary was released on the original film - Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary. All of the previous material deals with a burial site, haunted by a Native American spirit; it brings the dead back to life. Now, King's book will be reimagined for the big screen as seen in this first trailer.

The first trailer shows several children, mostly masked, in and around rural Maine. They have created a burial site, for their small cats and dogs. When a new family moves in nearby, they are surprised to see these small pets returning from the dead. Husband and doctor Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) is tasked with a difficult choice, when his own child is tragically killed in a brutal car accident.

Pet Sematary is a di Bonaventura Pictures production, as well. This title will be released, in theatres, next year (April 5th, 2018). But, horror fans can take an early look at this latest production, which revitalizes some classic material. All of the latest details on Pet Sematary are hosted here.

Release Date: April 5th, 2019 (Theatrical).

Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer.

Writers: Stephen King, Jeff Buhler.

Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow.

The first trailer for Pet Sematary:

The Unearthed & Untold documentary was released last year, through Synapse Films:

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

You Can Run But Why Hide? in this Upcoming Supernatural Thriller

Tagline: "Christmas with Friends Can be a Bloody Nightmare."

Why Hide? is an indie horror film, by way of Plenitude Productions. To show at this year's American Film Market, Why Hide? takes place during the Christmas holidays. In a remote country house, partiers' festivities are upended by the presence of a dead body. This title has recently shown in Madrid, at the Nocturna International Film Festival. Here, a trailer was release for the film (found below). And, Why Hide? was developed by the writing team of James Cook ("Disclaimer") and Karen Taylor. Also, the film stars: Danny Webb (Valkyrie, 2008), Charlotte Atkinson, Lorna Brown, Mark Chatterton and many others. Fans of supernatural thrillers can find the latest, on Why Hide?, below.

The trailer shows guests having a wild time. When morning breaks, a drama begins to unfold, involving one woman's past. As the details emerge, another presence emerges from beneath the house, with none of the guests safe.

Why Hide? is being represented by sales agent Devilworks. This team will bring the film to the AFM this November. The AFM begins this year on Halloween Night and will run until November 6th. Horror fans will not have to wait too long to see Why Hide? as this title continues to make the film festival rounds, with wider distribution on the horizon. The latest details on this exciting mystery are below.

Release Date: TBA.

Director: James Edward Cook.

Writers: James Edward Cook, Karen Taylor.

Cast: Danny Webb, Charlotte Atkinson, Lorna Brown, Mark Chatterton, Orla Cottingham, William Holstead, Elsie Bennett.

A trailer for Why Hide?:

Sources: Why Hide? at the AFM

Why Hide? at Screen Daily

More supernatural horror with We are Still Here (VOD):

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Silencio Explores the Zone of Silence and its Mysteries this October 26th in Theatres

Silencio is an upcoming science fiction thriller. Filmed on the U.S./Mexico border, the film looks at some of strangeness that occurs in the Zone of Silence. Here, people have experienced real life mechanical troubles, or have simply disappeared. A trailer was released for the film, recently (found below). This exciting thriller will debut in the United States later this month and in Mexico, this November. As well, Silencio stars John Noble (The Lord of the Rings), Rupert Graves (V for Vendetta), Melina Matthews and Michel Chauvet. Director Lorena Villarreal developed her story from some of her research on the area. All of the details, on Silencio, are hosted here.

Director Villarreal mentioned some of bizarre experiences that have taken place in the Zone of Silence. She says of the mysteries there: "we really wanted to focus on the mysterious occurrences that had no explanations. We did a lot of research, interviewed multiple sources including certified experts to long living locals." Even the locals are perplexed. The film also incorporates some of the more renowned mysterious areas across the world: "we are really naturally curious about these types of places: the Pyramids of Giza, the Bermuda Triangle and finally the world will learn about the Zone of Silence." Disappearances and unfortunate events continue to occur in all of these places.

Silencio is slated for a late October theatrical run. The showings will begin on October 26th, in the U.S. On November 1st, Silencio will show in Mexico. As well, Silencio has been rated Restricted and includes some Spanish. Fans of intriguing thrillers can find more on this Tulip Pitcures' production below.

Release Date: October 26th, 2018 (U.S., Limited Theatrical) and November 1st, 2018 (Mexico).

Director/writer: Lorena Villarreal.

Cast: John Noble, Rupert Graves, Melina Matthews.

The official trailer for Silencio:

The official website for Silencio: A Silencio Homepage

Another, classic mysterious thriller (Triangle, 2008):

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Friday, October 05, 2018

Overlord Descends from Above and Finds the Undead Below in this Final Trailer

Overlord is an upcoming zombie thriller. From J.J. Abram's Bad Robot production house, Overlord takes place on the eve of D-Day. Several paratroopers exit a flaming plane, while searching for a radio tower. On the ground, they uncover rogue experiments. The latest trailer for Overlord is here. And, the clip shows several of the characters bringing one of their own back from the dead; the results are chaotic. As well, Overlord was directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun). And, this title will be in theatres this November 9th.

The official synopsis talks of a French guide and a mysterious church. Beneath the church, NAZI experiments are taking place as the G.I. face a tough enemy. Now, the soldiers must take down the radio transmitter and the laboratory as World War II rages on.

Director Avery has been interviewed on this project. He says of the film and the script: "it was like … Indiana Jones on acid (Wire)". The trailer reveals some of the film's stranger moments. As well, Avery says of the film's initial scenes: "you have this really intense, emotional entrance into the film, and then you sort of follow these characters and they have to go into Hell." This Hell will hit screens this November, in theatres.

Release Date: November 9, 2018 (Theaters).

Director: Julius Avery.

Writers: Billy Ray, Mark L. Smith.

Cast: Wyatt Russell, John Magaro, Pilou Asbæk.

The latest trailer for Overlord:

*the film recently had its World Premiere, at Fantastic Fest (Austin, Texas).

An interview with Avery at SyFy wire: Avery on Overlord at the Wire

Trench 11 is another film, set in war, where Germans are experimenting with the undead:

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Molly Brings the Post-apocalypse Home this Week on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

The micro-budget Molly has released this week, through Artsploitation Films. Shot in the Netherlands, the film follows a young girl, in a post-apocalyptic landscape. She is chased by others for sport. Meanwhile, her supernatural abilities keep her one step ahead. Molly stars Julia Batelaan, in a break-out role. Tamara Brinkman (Days of Carnage, 2018), Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt and Annelies Appelhof also star. This science fiction action adventure has also received praise from critics. Finally, all of the film's release details are hosted here.

The critics have almost been unanimously positive. Nevermore Horror has compared the film to others in the post-apocalyptic genre: "if you are into Tank Girl, Mad Max and Waterworld then this is definitely a film for you." Meanwhile, writers at the Rotting Zombie found the film thoroughly entertaining: "entertaining from beginning to end!" The Horror Hothouse almost finds nothing wrong with this smaller budgeted outing: "Molly is a great action pick with well choreographed action sequences, imaginative set and costume design and an opening for an even more intriguing sequel." From film reviewers, there is a lot to love with this co-directed (Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese) film extravaganza.

Artsploitation Films has made this title available on several home entertainment formats. Molly is now available on: Blu-ray, DVD and Digital platforms. Shot in English, this title will be shown in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Also, Molly has a runtime of 91 minutes. A trailer is showing below, with more release details at the Artsploitation Films website.

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018 (DVD, Digital, Blu-ray).

Directors: Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese.

Cast: Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt, Annelies Appelhof.

The official trailer for Molly:

*this title ends with a continuous shot, lasting 32 minutes.

Molly at Artploitation Films: Molly at Artsploitation Films

A review of the film at the Rotting Zombie: Molly at the Rotting Zombie

Molly is available now at Amazon, with an amazingly low $9.79 (U.S.) price tag:

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Story Driven Sci-fi Horror Game The Pulse Debuts on October's Full Moon!

The Pulse is an upcoming game from StoryFix Media. The plot was developed by writer Christopher Webster (New Horizons), along with producers: Gareth Higgins, Arthur Lee and Claire Tunney. The game will be available on Google Play, shortly. In the game, a woman wakes up in a strange motel; she is experiencing amnesia. Soon, she is challenged with difficult decisions, while trying to remember who she really is. The game will be available just in time for Halloween, so horror fans can experience the game's excitement. A breakdown of the game's impending release is hosted here.

The Pulse is a story driven text driven adventure. The game rewards players based on how they form relationships, how they solve problems and how they make important and moral decisions. As well, The Pulse rewards an exploratory approach to gameplay, while offering a diverse playful experience.

As well, the game will host an original soundtrack. The original score will include performances by: Makeup and Vanity Set, Ogre, Starforce, Crockett, Killstarr and one of this writer's favourite - NewRetroWave. The soundtrack will host several songs as players explore a new and imaginative world. All of the available details, on The Pulse, are hosted below.

Release Date: Late October, 2018 (Google Play).

Writer: Chris Webster.

Producers: Greg Higgins, Christopher Webster, Arthur Lee and Claire Tunney.

Music: Makeup and Vanity Set, Ogre, Starforce, Crockett, Killstarr, NewRetroWave, Airglow and Starlight.

The official trailer for The Pulse:

A sampling of the game's music can be found here:

The Pulse Musical Soundtrack

A homepage for the game: The Pulse Homepage

Christopher Webster's first book can be found on Amazon (New Horizons):

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