Apple TV has a 3-hour director's cut of the horror movie Midsommar

Now I have a great excuse to rewatch Midsommar, Ari Aster's disturbing and beautifully executed horror movie about a group of American grad students who visit a creepy Swedish nature cult. After I saw it I tweeted that it was the best Wicker Man remake I've ever seen, and I meant it as a compliment.

From the iTunes Store:

Your purchase of Midsommar comes with Ari Aster’s extended and unrated director’s cut, exclusive to Apple TV. Plus go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Midsommar in an exclusive featurette, and watch the creation of Hälsingland in time-lapse footage of the elaborate and meticulous set construction.

In her review on Bloody Disgusting, Julieann Stipidis writes: "After witnessing the more comprehensive version of Aster’s vision in this (nearly) three-hour film, I’m happy to say I prefer this cut in spades.” Read the rest

Finding Pennywise the Clown in your backyard is serious business

There are few things finer in life than plopping down on a hot summer day in your backyard, wobbly pop in hand, with a few friends and loved ones. Roasting in the heat as a soft breeze licks the sweat away from your skin, your beverage slides ice-cold down your throat. Someone tells a joke as the burgers flip on the grill, sending up a tower of greasy pillar of fire into the heavens.

And then, the existential dread kicks in.

From NewJersey.com:

Renee Jensen was enjoying the summer in her Harrington Park backyard on Saturday with her boyfriend, Alex, when she spotted something near the side gate.

The object appeared to be airborne, headed straight for the yard.

“Did a freaking bird die in midair or something?” she thought, going over to see what it was.

Looking down at the object, she jumped back.

It was Pennywise the clown. Albeit, a stout, cartoon version of the murderous clown from “It,” but Pennywise nonetheless. The plush character’s mouth was reddened with fake “blood.”

“It came at an angle and I just watched this thing, it didn’t hit a single tree and went straight over, just cleared the gate and hit the pine branches and hit the ground," says Jensen, 42, still a bit shaken from the incident.

She only has one neighbor in the vicinity, and they were not around at the time little Pennywise entered the yard.

So, as one does, Jensen lost every last bit of her shit. Read the rest

Movie theaters host "clown-only" screenings of IT: Chapter Two

Those with coulrophobia are advised to avoid Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas during their upcoming "clown-only" screenings of IT: Chapter Two. Back in 2017, they had clown-only screenings of IT at two theaters so based on that fun, they've expanded the extravaganza to 17 locations across the country.

According to Alamo Drafthouse, guests are “encouraged to come dressed as a clown – the wig, the makeup, the oversized pants and suspenders, the blood-curdling makeup — and sit through this coulrophobia-inducing fright fest with a theater full of fellow clowns.”

What could possibly go wrong. Read the rest

Trailer for Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining

"Come and play with us, Danny... for ever, and ever, and ever." The bigscreen adaptation of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King's 2013 novel sequel to The Shining, is out November 8. From the film description:

"Doctor Sleep” continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in the supernatural thriller, directed by Mike Flanagan, from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King.

Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.

Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.

Read the rest

Dancing in the dark at Kathe Koja's DARK FACTORY

[Kathe Koja is one of my favorite writers (actually, she's two of my favorite writers!) and her latest project, am immersive, mixed-reality dance club, is so unbelievably cool that I jumped at the chance to give her a platform to tell you about it. Don't miss her Patreon! -Cory]

Stories need an audience to be fully alive. I write novels (Christopher Wild, The Cipher, Under the Poppy, Buddha Boy, among others) and write and produce immersive events and readings (The Art of Darkness, Glitter King, Night School, ALI<E, among others), and when I work I’m always considering that audience, its shared energy and engagement with the story I’m working to tell: otherwise it’s just words in a row, props in a room. Read the rest

Wil Wheaton's "Dead Trees Give No Shelter": terrifying tale, beautifully told

Wil Wheaton's 2017 standalone novelette Dead Trees Give No Shelter is a beautiful, spooky horror story in the vein of Stranger Things, following Jay Turner as he returns to the small Ohio town where his baby brother was murdered, 20 years before, to witness the execution of his killer. Read the rest

Watch the trailer for "It Chapter Two"

Spoiler: Guess who's back!

Twenty-seven years after the events of the summer of 1989, It (Bill Skarsgård) returns. The Losers' Club fulfill their promises and return to Derry to put an end to the evil being once and for all. Unbeknownst to them, It has returned, stronger and crueler than ever.

In theaters September 6. Read the rest

Alien, a flipbook animation

As part of the 40 year anniversary of Alien, 20th Century Fox commissioned illustrator Serene Teh to create Alien flipbook art for the above animation. Videography and post-editing by Noel Lee.

Read the rest

A darker, grimmer Snow White

More than a century before the Disneyfication of Snow White, German folklorists the Brothers Grimm collected the fairy tale in their anthology Nursery and Household Tales. But their version, and earlier tellings including one titled "The Young Slave" from the 17th century, was not quite the Snow White that in 1937 became Disney's first animated feature film. No, the original story, as summarized by Maria J. Pérez Cuervo at the Daily Grail, "has elements of murderous jealousy, ritual cannibalism, sexual temptation, necrophilic imagery and capital punishment." From the Daily Grail:

Mad with envy, feeling that her power is at stake by the young girl’s increasing beauty, the queen orders the huntsman (who in other versions is her lover) to kill Snow White and bring back her lungs and liver. The huntsman takes her to the forest, but when he is about to kill her, she begs for mercy and he feels incapable of harming someone with such beauty. He finally abandons her in the deep forest, convinced that the wild beasts will take her. The queen wanted her internal organs, so the huntsman, in what historian of religions Norman Girardot suggests is a reminiscence of the “sacrificial rites of the virgin maiden”, kills a wild boar instead – in antiquity, these were frequently used as a substitute for human sacrifice to appease the gods.

The subsequent event has been largely forgotten – and rarely shown in film adaptations. When the queen receives her daughter’s viscera, she decides she’ll have them salted and boiled, then feasts upon them with epicurean pleasure, convinced that they’re Snow White’s.

Read the rest

David Lynch's Mystery Man's place in the horror pantheon

The "Mystery Man" scene from Lost Highway (embedded above) has become a YouTube classic, a bite-size précis of everything distinctive about the director's unique style and tone, that weird unnerving place between terrifying and cheesy. Here's Sean T. Collins on "David Lynch's scariest scene"

Our hero’s an avant-jazz saxophonist; it’s possible this isn’t the oddest person he’s met this week. Nevermind that he’s had nightmares about his wife Renee, whom he can no longer satisfy sexually, in which she had this man’s face. Nevermind that this guy is saying they met at Fred and Renee’s austere house, where an unknown intruder has been breaking in to film them as they sleep and then dropping off the videotapes at their front door. Nevermind that all the music and party chatter has faded out and all we hear beneath the dialogue is the proverbial ominous whoosh. We may know we’re watching something frightening, but Fred doesn’t, not yet.

“As a matter of fact,” the Mystery Man says regarding the house, “I’m there right now.”

Blake's perverse intensity gets instantly under your skin even if you think it's silly, which it is. In the real world, dangerous people are often ridiculous and I wonder if this is why David Lynch let Robert Blake design the character and do his own makeup.

See also Collins' article about monumental horror images. Read the rest

Spanish pop-goth performance featuring Freddy Krueger in high-waisted jeans

The singer is María Olvido Gara Jova, aka Alaska, performing with her band Dinarama. Along with singing in another electro-pop-goth band Fangoria, Alaska has hosted a children's TV series, appeared on a comedy sketch show, and starred in an MTV Spain reality show. This number is titled "Mi novio es un zombi" ("My Boyfriend Is a Zombie").

(r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!) Read the rest

Satanic Panic 2.0: The Momo Challenge hoax [TW: Self-harm/suicide]

According to reports from gullible parents' organizations, police departments, and media outlets, Kids on the Internet are spreading memes featuring an image of "Momo" (actually a sculpture called "Mother Bird" created by Keisuke Aisawa for the Japanese SFX studio Link Factory) that includes explicit self-harm and suicide instructions (the "challenge" in "Momo challenge" is allegedly to get kids to hurt or kill themselves). Read the rest

The making of It, Stephen King's 1990 miniseries

From the scary movie documentarians "You're So Cool Brewster: The Story of Fright Night" and "Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary" comes "Pennywise: The Story of It."

Read the rest

Make: high-end eyeball props, from humans to monsters to gore

Fourth Seal Studios has everything you could possibly want from high-end prop eyeballs, including $40 "camera-ready" eyes ("Gray cores darken the the 'white' of the eye and can add a more realistic sense to the overall piece the eyes are being featured in"); $22-40 sculptural eyeballs in a variety of scales; "Undead and Creature" eyes (including Red Lich, Hemorrhage, Goat Eyes, etc); kits for making your own eyes and irises; painting and display stands, and custom eyeballs to order. Check back frequently for discounts on seconds and imperfections. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Resident Evil 2 with the facial animation exaggerated 500%

Resident Evil 2 is a just-released remake of the Capcom classic, updated with ultra-realistic performance-captured animation. DPO23 hacked the game's configuration to exaggerate characters' facial movements 500%. It's an unsettling illustration of what lies beneath cutting-edge graphics tech—and far scarier than the zombies. (See DP023's YouTube channel for more)

Read the rest

Jeff "Sweet Tooth" Lemire's new horror comic Gideon Falls is spooky af

Jeff Lemire can do weird-spooky (see, e.g., his Twilight Zonish graphic novel Underwater Welder) and he can do gripping (see his amazing, post-apocalyptic Sweet Tooth), but in his newest graphic novel from Image Comics, Gideon Falls, he shows that he can do spooky-verging-on-terrifying, with a tale of supernatural mystery that combines avant-garde graphic treatments with outstanding writing to create a genuine tale of terror. Read the rest

Fundraising to save Burbank's horror bookstore Dark Delicacies

Burbank's amazing quarter-century institution Dark Delicacies is a horror book-, memoribilia- and clothing-store that is a community hub for genre creators, hosting a wonderful stream of events, signings, and even an annual chance to get your photo took with Krampus at a Christmas open-house. Read the rest

More posts