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Saturday, December 2, 2017

#Cinema

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Daily Dead’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide – Day 9: Horror-Themed T-Shirts & Other Awesome Apparel Picks

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:31 PM PST

Happy Friday, fiends, and welcome back for the ninth day of Daily Dead's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. For today, we're taking a look at a variety of horror-themed t-shirts and other apparel from a variety of online retailers, including Cavity Colors, Last Exit to Nowhere, Fright Rags, Terror Threads, T-Shirt Bordello, Tee Fury, Horror Merch Store, BeastWreck, Electric Zombie, RIPT Apparel, The Monster Store, and Rock-n-Horror.

And just like yesterday's HGG featuring over 100 enamel pins, below only represents a fraction of each website's inventory, so I do recommend poking around because you can find some really fun gifts for this holiday season.

Also, Daily Dead has once again put together some really cool Holiday Gift Guide prize packs this year, and for your chance to win one, just send an email to contest@dailydead.com with "Holiday Gift Guide" in the subject line and be sure to include your full name and mailing address as well for your shot at some free horror-tastic goodies (limited to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. Only one entry per household will be accepted). Happy shopping, everyone!

Cavity Colors:

Better Watch Out Series (Celebrating Christmas Evil) – BUY OR DIE RELEASE UNTIL 12/3 at 5 pm EST

Happy Horror Days Crewneck Sweater

The New Flesh Baseball Shirt

Street Trash T-Shirt

Scared to Pieces Crewneck Sweater (Celebrating Re-Animator)

Fright Rags:

Saturday Morning Creepshow

Halloween TV Ad

IT

Elvira: Version 3 T-Shirt

Groovy T-Shirt

Terror Threads:

Limited Edition Santa's Revenge T-Shirt

Halloween – "He's Gonna Get You" T-Shirt

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Nowhere to Run T-Shirt

Sleepaway Camp – Classic Angela T-Shirt

Puppet Master – Jester Baseball T-Shirt

T-Shirt Bordello:

Pennywise Playing Card T-Shirt

Amity Island T-Shirt 

Zombie Thriller T-Shirt

Night of the Meeps T-Shirt

Ugly Christmas Skull Sweater T-Shirt

The Monster Store:

Horror Movie Monsters Tank Top

Freddy Krueger Jason Voorhees Michael Myers Super Villains Holiday

Shower Slasher

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Werewolf)

Horror Merch Store:

Predator – Countdown

The Amityville Horror – Flies

Carrie – Bucket 

Friday the 13th – Camp Crystal Lake Counselor (Bloodied)

Shaun of the Dead – The Plan

Tee Fury:

Hiya Georgie

The Nostromo Club

Pop Horror

Reading is Groovy

Monster Holiday Sweater

Last Exit to Nowhere:

Stay Puft Marshmallow Company Baseball Shirt

Starfighter T-Shirt

Santa Carla T-Shirt

Barlow and Straker Fine Antiques

The Unholy Masquerade

Electric Zombie:

Maskacre Button Up

Sideshow – Glow-in-the-Dark

Slumber – Long Sleeve Shirt

Reverb T-Shirt

Prisoner T-Shirt

BeastWreck:

Wez The Road Warrior

The Fly – Telepod

Camp Pixel Lake Leggings

Ugly Little Spud

TGIF13

RIPT Apparel:

Mega Slashers– Dead Pixels

A New Holiday

Hide and Seek Champion

Evil Rhapsody

Straight Outta Nightmares

Rock-n-Horror Apparel:

Camp Blood Flannel 

Krampus 

Return of the Living Dead Vest

---------

Be sure to check here for more horror gift ideas, and here's wishing a very happy holiday season to our readers from all of us at Daily Dead!

The post Daily Dead’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide – Day 9: Horror-Themed T-Shirts & Other Awesome Apparel Picks appeared first on Daily Dead.

Review: Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER is a Triumphant Masterpiece and His Greatest Achievement as a Filmmaker

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 04:56 PM PST

You know that all-consuming feeling of love at first sight? When you see something so perfect and wonderful, and you're filled with such a deeply resounding sense of love and affection in just a few mere moments? That was my precise experience with Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water—within 90 seconds of the film's breathtaking and almost ethereal opening, I knew I was head over heels for his latest directorial effort, and everything else that followed only intensified my adoration of del Toro's magnificent creature-feature-meets-timeless-fairy-tale. I've fallen hard for nearly all of the visionary filmmaker's work over the years, but The Shape of Water has officially become my very favorite cinematic story from my very favorite director working today.

In The Shape of Water, we meet Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a young woman who was abandoned as a child and has spent her entire life mute after she was left with wounds all over her throat. But despite her inability to communicate verbally, she's never let it slow her down one iota—she has deep-rooted friendships with her kindly neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) and her co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) who she spends her nights with, cleaning up after scientists and government stooges at a mysterious facility that plays host to some of the US's deepest secrets.

One of those secrets is a new arrival: an unnamed "Amphibian Man" (Doug Jones) that has been captured by Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) from a river on the Amazon, in the hopes that the "monstrosity" holds the key to the US beating the Russians into space. While the entity has a scientific value, Strickland is hellbent on torturing the creature into submission nonetheless, simply due to his own twisted need for control and dominance over everything in his life. But one day, Elisa and the aquatic being share a meet-cute over some hard boiled eggs, and their unlikely love blossoms from there. Realizing her new soul mate is in a great deal of danger, our heroine hatches a plan to rescue him with the help of her closest friends and a scientist (Michael Stuhlbarg) who has his own complicated agenda at play throughout The Shape of Water.

While The Shape of Water is very much a ravishing love story that supersedes all expectations and conventions, the thing that struck me the most about del Toro's script (which he co-wrote with Vanessa Taylor) was how much the narrative was really about acceptance and the universality of love—not just those romantic feelings, either, but affection shared between humans in general, and our need for connectedness in a world that can be sometimes cruel and dismissive. And considering just how much of a dumpster fire 2017 has been for most of the world at large, The Shape of Water is arriving at a time when I think most of us really could use a dose of the "warm and fuzzies" (I'm like 90% sure that is a proper journalistic term).

As far as the performances go in The Shape of Water, everyone here is so perfectly cast that it's easy to believe that del Toro crafted these characters specifically for each actor, because they slip into their respective roles so seamlessly. Hawkins, who I wasn't all that familiar with prior to Shape (I only really recalled seeing her in the 2014 Godzilla movie before this), so her work here was completely revelatory to me. Elisa is such a remarkably drawn character to, and the way Hawkins is able to capture the simple magic to this woman is downright wonderful.

Something else I really enjoyed about Elisa was the fact that while she yearned to find the other half of her whole, it's not like her life was lacking prior to meeting the Amphibian Man of her dreams. She has a rich, fulfilling life that she enjoys, and has the support of people who care for her (and vice versa), so while her finding love is a remarkable occurrence, it doesn't define who she is as a human being. THIS is how you write female characters, folks.

Also, I'd be truly remiss if I didn't mention Doug Jones in The Shape of Water, because his performance is truly special. He has spent decades now slipping under the facades of so many incredible monsters, otherworldly beings, and the like, but his role in Shape is right up there as some of his best work, as he finds a way to bring a sense of humanity to this creature, and makes it easy to understand how Elisa could possibly fall for him in the first place.

The Shape of Water is my favorite film of 2017, genre or otherwise, and while it's no secret that my deep admiration for the work of del Toro rivals the way that the maestro himself worships at the altar of movie monsters, objectively I can say that what he has managed to craft in Shape—from the characters to the creature to the look and feel of this world—is a sumptuous masterpiece and a perfect celebration of the golden age of cinema, and it feels like the equivalent of a warm cinematic embrace that you don't ever want to leave.

Movie Score: 5/5

The post Review: Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER is a Triumphant Masterpiece and His Greatest Achievement as a Filmmaker appeared first on Daily Dead.

Crypt of Curiosities: Depictions of Jigoku (Hell) in Japanese Cinema

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 04:38 PM PST

If you ask me, Hell is the ultimate horror setting. Sure, creepy castles and abandoned outposts are great and all, but a realm of eternal torment just strikes me as a tad more terrifying. And of the major cultural interpretations of Hell out there, none are quite as grisly as the hell of Japanese Buddhism: Jigoku. Sure, there's a way out of it, but the torments inflicted upon the damned in Jigoku make the ones Dante wrote about seem fit for children's birthday parties. Jigoku consists of sixteen separate hells (eight "hot" and eight "cold"), with eight great hells that consist of tortures ranging from being charred in massive frying pans to being eternally smashed into paste and revived by massive rocks. It's a brutal, depressing place where hope is faint and mercy can wait billions of years away. Naturally, it makes for a great topic for a horror movie.

The first director to really take a major stab at exploring the location was Nobuo Nakagawa, a Shintoho staple who made popular adaptations of Kaidan (Edo-period ghost stories and folktales) including Black Cat Mansion and The Ghost of Yotsuya. Yet while those films got plenty of love and acclaim, he wouldn't reach western audiences in a big way until his 1960 hellish masterpiece simply titled Jigoku.

Jigoku (also known as The Sinners of Hell) is a deceptively simple film. Shiro Shimizu (Shigeru Amachi) is a stand-up young man. He's a hardworking and humble theology student with a surefire shot at a promising career as a scholar, and has just become engaged to his professor's kind daughter Yukiko (Utako Mitsuya). Shiro's future is looking bright.

Until it isn't. While being driven home from the proposal with his oddball friend Tamura (Yochi Numata, later seen in Ringu), Tamura kills a drunk yakuza in a hit and run. Hoping to protect his friend, Shiro doesn't turn him in, and soon finds his life unraveling around him as the dead yakuza's friends and family hope to get revenge.

What follows is an hour of ingeniously plotted setup, building up the forces barreling down on Shiro as well as the many sinners that surround him. Even while Jigoku is still grounded in the real world, it's hard to find the film's vision of humanity as anything other than a farm for new tormented souls. Nobody in Jigoku is without sin, and according to Jigoku, nobody will go unpunished.

It's truly a dour hour, and it's an atmosphere that bleeds past just a downer of a script. Despite the aforementioned Ghost of Yotsuya having vibrant Technicolor, all the scenes on Earth are filmed with a muted palette, darkening the lush colors to give even the prettiest scenes an air of gloom.

Yet what separates this first hour from just being a depressing drama instead of a depressing capital "G" Genre picture is Tamura. Functioning like a cross between an exposition-dumping prophet and a trickster god, Tamura moves through the first hour with seemingly little regard for the bounds of reality. He simply shows up where and when he wants to, always more knowledgeable than he lets in on. It's clear that Yochi Numata is just having the time of his life in the role, relishing in his opportunity to play the most annoying, devilish character in any scene. Much like the contrast of knowledge, Tamura's offbeat personality compared to the relatively subdued characters he shares the screen with only serves to drive in the idea that there's really something off about this guy. Truth be told, he'd be a goofy addition if his presence wasn't so ominous, an omen of things to come.

See, I can't properly discuss the genius of Jigoku without diving into the nature of the third act, so consider this your spoiler warning. Because at the end of the second act, everyone dies. Everyone. Every single prominent character dies over the course of one fateful night, Shiro included, and they're all headed straight to Hell. But death is not the end—it's only the beginning of Jigoku's mind-blowing, unparalleled third act genre shift.

Hell is everything Earth isn't. While Earth was drab, Hell is full of eye-popping, proto-Bava colors. Earth has a clear, coherent geography. Hell is an endless abyss of torments against a sea of black. It's quite the dramatic shift in focus and style, but Jigoku manages to hold together by never losing sight of its grim thematic through line—everyone sins, and no sin goes unpunished.

Even for a film made in 1960, the punishments make for disturbing watches. Presented in a series of guided vignettes à la The Beyond, viewers witness the characters so well established and humanized in the first hour be ruthlessly broken by merciless oni. They're forced to drink pus instead of water, they're cut into bits, they're flayed alive, they're impaled in fields of needles—each torment bloodier and meaner than the last. Yet unlike the contemporary splatter films of H.G. Lewis, there's nothing sadistic about the camera's gaze. The carnage isn't enjoyable, or funny, or even particularly disgusting. Instead, it's just heart-wrenching, painting a vision of hell where the worst humanity has to offer languishes in the darkness with everyone else.

It's excruciating. Even a horror fan well-seasoned in the dark like myself felt scorched. In these moments, Jigoku feels similar to Cannibal Holocaust, a misanthropic rage against a species that it feels can't help but be cruel to each other. But what separates Jigoku from the aforementioned exploitation staple is the conclusion it draws. While Cannibal Holocaust believes nothing can redeem us, Jigoku presents a path to salvation through one thing and one thing only: humanity's ability to be selfless, to sacrifice, to offer up life and limb for the love of others. Despite its unrelenting grimness, Jigoku is not a testament to the evil that humans are capable of. Instead, it is an example of how even in the very worst of situations, humanity can still embrace the best of us, even suffering through the worst torments Hell itself can offer for the sake of what's important to us.

Of course, Jigoku wouldn't be the last film to take a trip into this particular vision of Hell. In 1969, arthouse darling Shiro Toyoda directed Portrait of Hell, an adaptation of the famed short story "Jigokuhe," with Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo, Harakiri, Sword of Doom) playing the part of a painter depicting Hell. While it is quite an incredible story (and one written by Rashomon scribe Ryunosuke Akutagawa at that), it doesn't directly dive into Hell, and as such, doesn't count for this piece.

There are other Jigoku-based films that followed, sure, but many of them took the same vision of Hell as Nakagawa did. Ironically enough, the next real interesting look at Hell wouldn't come until Jigoku would get a loose remake: 1999's sleazy gore flick, Japanese Hell.

Japanese Hell was directed by one Teruo Ishii, an immortal staple of Japanese exploitation. During the '70s, he directed a great number of fascinating pinku films (sex-focused, nudity-heavy genre fare), including Blind Woman's Curse (1970) and Female Yakuza Tale (1973). These films were wild, colorful, and unfathomably sleazy, showing a new depraved display of sex or violence at every other turn. Japanese Hell is no different.

If there's one thing you can't accuse Japanese Hell of, it's having a weak opening. Right out of the gates we are introduced to Enma (Michiko Maeda), a demon queen who bursts into monologue about the torments one will encounter in the depths of Hell. Instantly, there are visions of Hell (read: a barely-disguised sound stage) full of worms, oni, and screaming souls. It's quite the memorable first scene, which only kicks into higher gear when we're suddenly transported to Earth to get the start of an actual story.

Rika (Miki Sato) is a sixteen-year-old with a troubled life. While it's unclear what she did or what happened to her at first, it's apparently dire enough to warrant a visit from Enma, who gives Rika a proposition. Enma will grant her one trip to Hell, showing her what tortures await those who continue down her sinful path, before putting her back on Earth to save them. It's quite an insane pitch, but Rika takes it anyways, getting a Dante-esque tour through a fiery inferno of absurdity.

Hell in Japanese Hell isn't like Hell in Jigoku. Not even close. They share the central concept of being a place where people get tortured, but the texture is entirely different. Hell isn't a surreal void of pain, rather, it's something akin to a linear trek from one samey-looking, oddly lit location to the next, with the same oni dishing out punishments. This isn't to say it's short on any weird or disturbing imagery, but it's never really treated as anything more than a theme park ride, zipping past tortures without any context or emotional attachment to them. The fact that the only major piece of unique set dressing in Hell is a painfully on the nose gateway shaped like a vagina with spikes doesn't quite help either.

Unfortunately, Hell isn't helped by this tour's seemingly schizophrenic tone. When Rika first arrives at the banks of the river Styx, she witnesses the souls of the damned being forced to strip (unsurprisingly, I only saw women in the lineup) by an oni. A bizarrely comic scene ensues where Rika's friendly guide explains what's going on to the oni, all while damned souls writhe behind them. This would be an odd interlude in any context, but considering that it's literally followed by a deadly serious montage of a serial killer murdering children on earth, it's just a downright baffling scene.

Nobody in Hell in Japanese Hell is just a misguided human being. It's a land of monsters. Every soul pointed out to Rika is the worst of the worst, and its clear Japanese Hell is doing this for one reason and one reason only: to make the violence enjoyable.

Japanese Hell is sadistic. The enjoyment of the movie—at least the bits in hell—is based entirely around seeing bad things happen to bad people. Tortures are drawn-out and laborious, taking minutes to showcase subjects getting maimed in increasingly gruesome ways ranging from being chopped apart by a giant saw to having oni stretch and rip out a man's tongue with rusty pliers. While there's no denying that all the effects involved are rubbery (some of which look incredibly worse than their 1960 counterparts), the subject matter alone can make some scenes cringeworthy.

However, much like Jigoku before it, Japanese Hell spends more time out of the inferno than in it. This is accomplished through two visions in the Karma Mirror, a device that shows the lives of damned souls when they face judgment. It's worth noting here that with the exception of Rika and the background characters, every soul being tortured in Hell is clearly based on a real infamous criminal in contemporary Japan. For example, the first time the Karma Mirror is demonstrated, it's to show the aforementioned child killing segment. The killer? A clear pastiche of Tsutomu Miyazaki, the Otaku Killer.

It's an incredibly gross bit of exploitation that probably looked better on paper. After all, it's clear Ishii wants to mock the killer in the flashback, and his lengthy torture sequence suggests some sort of proto-Inglorious Basterds revenge fantasy, but the movie just can't pull it off. Fortunately, this segment is brief. Unfortunately, the next one is not.

See, after showing Hell for a bit, Japanese Hell decides to shift its focus entirely by having Rika look into the Karma Mirror and view the dark future that awaits her. This second gaze into the Karma Mirror takes up a good majority of the film, and is where the bulk of character development and interaction takes place. It also has no bearing on Hell whatsoever.

Instead, it focuses on a cluster of characters caught up in Space Cult, a very obvious pastiche of the infamous Aum Shinrikyo, a doomsday cult who performed multiple sarin gas attacks across Japan in the mid-'90s. Or more specifically, the segment works as a slow, steady build-up to a recreation of those horrifying events, and the conviction of the film's version of cult founder and mastermind Shoko Asahara.

As you can imagine, it's a far cry from the over-the-top antics of the Hell scenes. In fact, the Aum Shinrikyo segment is a complete tonal and stylistic 180 from the two Hell bits that bookend it, lacking any of the slapstick gore, weird humor, or lighthearted performances. Instead, it recalls '70s "true crime" exploitation scuzz like the Jonestown exploitation piece Guyana: Crime of the Century. It aims to "faithfully" recreate the horrors the cult perpetrated, and by that, I mean it aims to show grimy sex and violence under the pretentions of being a dramatization of real events.

The segment mostly drifts through a haze of sex and violence, rarely engaging with its subject matter past the very obvious "death cults are bad." It's frustrating, because even though I'd argue this material couldn't ever work with the comedic pulpy Hell scenes, it doesn't even aim to have some sort of thematic through line between the two locations. It's like a different movie altogether.

By the time the sarin gas attacks are actually portrayed (with all the tact you'd expect) and the film shifts back to Hell, it's impossible to make heads or tails of what it's even trying to accomplish: just a barrage of cheap, bloody special effects. Now, while I'm certainly a fan of cheap, bloody special effects, they just don't work here. The tonal whiplash is too great, and the emotional impact of any scene is nonexistent. Japanese Hell commits the worst sin of all: it makes visions of Hell boring.

While I ended Japanese Hell incredibly disappointed, it's hardly a film worth dismissing. Beyond any qualities it has, it works as a great contrast with Jigoku, showing how two creative teams can take the same material and turn it into two wildly unique, almost antithetical films. It's perhaps one of the wildest examples of a loose remake upending everything, and for that reason alone, I'd say it's worth checking out.

Plus, there's a bit where a random character arrives in hell to have a bizarre, anime-esque sword fight with the oni before leaving. If that doesn't sound entertaining, I don't know what does.

The post Crypt of Curiosities: Depictions of Jigoku (Hell) in Japanese Cinema appeared first on Daily Dead.

December 2017 VOD & Digital Releases Include IT (2017), FRIEND REQUEST, BLADE RUNNER 2049

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 03:48 PM PST

Hard to believe, but December is nearly upon us, and that means we have a brand new batch of Digital and VOD releases to look forward to over the next few weeks. And for those of you looking to indulge in some non-holiday cinematic delights next month, there seems to be quite a variety of films hitting VOD and other digital platforms to keep you cozy inside your home, away from the brutality of winter and its harsh elements.

December's releases kick off on the 1st with Somebody's Darling, and December 5th is one of the busiest days of the month with six different titles making their digital bow: The Gatehouse, The Doll Master, Apocalypse Road, Flashburn, K-SHOP, and The White King. Then, just a few days later, IFC Midnight is releasing the psychological thriller Kaleidoscope, and on December 12th, both The Cutlass and Flatliners (2017) come home.

IFC Midnight has given the survival horror flick Desolation a December 15th digital release, and the month wraps up with undoubtedly the two biggest titles to get a digital release during December: Andy Muschietti's adaptation of IT (12/19) and Denis Villenueve's Blade Runner 2049 (12/26).

Somebody's Darling (UFOClub Creative) – December 1st

A brooding mysterious fraternity president becomes obsessed with a coed despite having it all in his privileged existence. What begins as a hopeful romance twists into obsession, and he risks his social standing in his pursuit of her heart. It seems that a positive change of character might bloom as he drifts away from the misogynistic, hedonist ways of his frat brothers.

But a dark secret seems to cloak it all, and glimpses of truth surface in his surreal visions and dreams. Huge and horrible revelations mark the violent finale of this retro-styled, psychological, horror drama touching upon current issues of date rape culture, southern history, and privilege.

Apocalypse Road (Wild Eye Releasing) – December 5th

Following a post-apocalyptic event, two sisters are hunted down and separated by a gang of ruthless killers intent on creating their own twisted form of law and order.  The sisters must fight through this new, dangerous world to stay alive in the hopes of being reunited, and escaping to freedom.

The Doll Master (Cinedigm) – December 5th

When Norman's nightmares become reality, he must overcome his fears and confront the demonic forces that have possessed Hugo, his prize Doll.

Flashburn (Level 33 Entertainment) – December 5th

Wes Nolan wakes up in an abandoned warehouse with a case of amnesia. He has been kidnapped by someone named "Lazarus" who has him held captive in order to obtain the cure for an Ebola outbreak. Wes was a virologist and microbiologist who was working to engineer a bacteria protein carrier to attack the Ebola before it could destroy human cells. Instead of destroying the Ebola, Wes' protein mutated the virus into something much more potent. Now Wes must try to regain his memory and discover what really happened to him so that he can find a cure to the disease that's wiping out much of the human population.

The Gatehouse (Uncork'd Entertainment) – December 5th

Jack is a struggling writer recovering from the death of his wife. His daughter, 10-Year-Old Eternity, loves digging for treasure in the forest behind her house. In a coincidental turn of fate, Jack agrees to undertake a writing project about the 'legend of the black flowers' at the same time that Eternity discovers a mysterious object in the woods, and the forest wants it back. They've unlocked an ancient curse and must now fight for survival.

K-SHOP (Breaking Glass Pictures) – December 5th

After his father is killed in an altercation with drunken thugs, Salah's world is plunged into darkness. Forced into running the family kebab shop alone, Salah struggles to manage the increasingly rowdy nightlife. When a fight with an angry customer goes fatally wrong, he finds himself with a dead body on his hands. Having no faith in the authorities, Salah disposes of the body in the one place he knows best: the kebabs. As the shop's gullible customers devour the new recipe, Salah develops a taste for the kill and seizes the opportunity to turn vigilante, seeking vengeance for the abusive drunkards plaguing the streets.

The White King (Omnibus Entertainment) – December 5th

Combining elements of George Orwell's 1984 with J. G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun, and featuring themes similarly explored in the current hit series "A Handmaid's Tale" and "The Man in the High Castle," THE WHITE KING, the debut feature film from co-directors Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel, is a sci-fi drama set in a dystopian future.  Based on the internationally acclaimed, award winning novel by György Dragomán, the stark genre film called "eerily prescient given the current state of political affairs" (WOW247) stars Jonathan Pryce ("Game of Thrones"), Agyness Deyn (Sunset Song), Greta Scacchi ("War & Peace"), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The BFG), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter series), Ross Partridge ("Stranger Things") and newcomer Lorenzo Allchurch.

Djata (Allchurch) is a care-free twelve-year-old growing up in "The Homeland," a totalitarian state shut off from the outside world.  Filled with Big Brother-like surveillance cameras and propaganda posters, the agrarian community at first seems peaceful and orderly, kept safe by an enormous statue dominating the landscape.  But when Djata's father, Peter (Partridge) is whisked away to a deadly work camp, the young boy and his mother, Hannah (Deyn) are labeled traitors and forced to navigate a world of propaganda, abuse and secret police.  Before his father was taken away, however, he passed a secret to Djata that could change everything.

Kaleidoscope (IFC Midnight) – December 8th

This intense, twisty thriller unfolds in the darkest corners of a man's mind. Recently released from prison, mild-mannered Carl (Toby Jones) quietly attempts to move on with his life. Just as he embarks on his first date in 15 years, Carl's fresh start is shattered by the sudden reappearance of his domineering mother (Anne Reid), whose presence awakens within him a deep-seated trauma. What unfolds is a brain-warping puzzle as reality and illusion, past and present collide and explode in violence. The debut feature from Rupert Jones is a provocative psychological mystery that asks: is it possible to escape our past?

The Cutlass (Wild Eye Releasing) – December 12th

A young tourist is abducted from her family into the jungles of Trinidad by a dangerous, armed sociopath. While the authorities and her family attempt to find her with no success, she is forced to mentally and physically outmaneuver her captor in an effort to stay alive and escape to safety.

Flatliners (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) – December 12th

Five medical students, hoping to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment. By stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience. As the investigation becomes more and more perilous, they are forced to confront the sins of their pasts, as well as contend with the supernatural consequences of trespassing to the other side.

Desolation (IFC Midnight) – December 15th

After the death of her husband, Abby (Jaimi Page), her son, Sam (Toby Nichols) and best friend, Jen (Alyshia Ochse), venture into the forests of upstate NY on a camping trip, only to find themselves in danger from a mysterious hiker (Claude Duhamel) with malicious intentions.  As the trio attempts to navigate the vast wilderness in search of safety, they find themselves the hunted prey in a deranged killer's terrifying game and the only way to survive is to kill - or be killed.

Friend Request (Lionsgate) – December 19th

Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a popular college student who lives her college life to the fullest and gladly shares it with her 800 Facebook friends. But when she accepts a friend request from her mysterious classmate Marina (Liesl Ahlers), she unwittingly sets a terrible curse in motion. The dead girl's impenetrable profile begins to drive Laura into isolation. It takes control of Laura's virtual world and her real life as well. One after another, her closest friends die horrendous deaths, leaving Laura with only a few days to solve the enigma of this haunting curse to save the few friends she has left, as well as her own life.

IT (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) – December 19th

When children in town begin to disappear, a group of young kids is faced with their biggest fears as they square off against evil clown, Pennywise. Based on the Stephen King novel.

Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) – December 26th

A new blade runner unearths a secret that could plunge what's left of society into chaos and leads him on a quest to find a former LAPD blade runner who's been missing for 30 years.

The post December 2017 VOD & Digital Releases Include IT (2017), FRIEND REQUEST, BLADE RUNNER 2049 appeared first on Daily Dead.

Netflix Orders New Series Based on CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Comic Book Series

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 01:28 PM PST

This past autumn, it was revealed that a new Sabrina the teenage witch series was in the works at The CW and Warner Bros. Television, with plans to have it serve as a companion series to Riverdale, but now Netflix has cast its own spell and ordered 20 episodes of the developing series, bringing their own magical touch to the world of Archie Comics.

Announced by Netflix and numerous outlets, including the official Archie Comics website, the new Sabrina TV series will be based on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which features chillingly atmospheric artwork by Robert Hack.

The new show, currently untitled, has been given a 20-episode order spanning two seasons (according to Variety). Aguirre-Sacasa, who developed the Riverdale TV series, will write and executive produce the Sabrina series, with Lee Toland Krieger (Riverdale) directing and executive producing. Also on board as executive producers are Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater, all of whom executive produce Riverdale as well, although it's not yet known if Riverdale and the Sabrina series will exist in the same on-screen universe.

Here's Netflix's official logline for the new series:

"UNTITLED SABRINA SERIES imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, this adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit."

This wouldn't be the first time Sabrina has worked her magic on the small screen, as the character with a talking black cat previously appeared in the Melissa Joan Hart-starring sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch that aired from 1996–2003, and several animated series have also featured the Archie Comics character.

If you haven't read Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I highly recommend checking it out for its haunting horror and gorgeous autumn backdrops. Aguirre-Sacasa, who also writes the Afterlife with Archie series (another title that's a must-read for fans of the living dead or readers with fond memories of chocolate milk shakes at Pop Tate's), doesn't hold back with the series' dark magic elements, and he truly conjures a Cthulhu-infused spell on the page that should hopefully translate well to the screen.

We'll keep Daily Dead readers updated as more details are divulged, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on a new Sabrina TV series coming to Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Netflix Orders New Series Based on CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Comic Book Series appeared first on Daily Dead.

Listen to the CORPSE CLUB Discuss Horror TV Shows on a New Episode of Daily Dead’s Podcast

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 11:37 AM PST

While horror has been conjuring up plenty of scares on the big screen in recent years, it's also been chilling and thrilling audiences in the comfort of their own living rooms. The genre has perhaps never been more prevalent on the small screen than it is right now, making this the perfect time for the Corpse Club to channel surf through some of their favorite scary TV series on a new episode of Daily Dead's podcast.

This installment of Corpse Club is submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society... In episode 28 of Daily Dead's official podcast, co-hosts Patrick Bromley, Heather Wixson, Scott Drebit, Derek Anderson, and Jonathan James gather around the warm glow of the tube to talk about some of the most memorable horror TV series from their childhoods. Spanning different generations bound together by their love of horror, the Corpse Club discuss a wide range of spooky series, including vintage shows like Dark Shadows and The Munsters, cult series such as Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Werewolfanthologies like Freddy's Nightmares and The Twilight Zone, and '90s favorites like Are You Afraid of the Dark?Eerie, Indiana, and Goosebumps.

In addition to talking about favorites from their formative years, the Corpse Club celebrate the modern heyday of horror TV with discussions on more recent series like Masters of HorrorPenny Dreadful, and The Walking Dead, and they also find horror among the humor by reflecting on some of their favorite scary moments in comedic sitcoms. So lean back in your favorite recliner, make sure the remote is within reaching distance, and listen to the new episode of Corpse Club... just make sure you don't sit too close to the TV screen—it's bad for your eyes, you know...

You can listen to the 28th episode of Corpse Club right now on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadioSoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn, and look for our next episode to be summoned soon!

As a special treat for Daily Dead readers, we have officially launched our Corpse Club website and memberships. Not only can you view past episodes, but you can also sign up to be an official Corpse Club member to enjoy a wide range of rewards, including a shirt and pin that are to die for, access to future bonus content, the ability to suggest an episode topic, and more!

Missed out on our first 27 episodes? The cemetery gate is always open. Come in (if you dare) and listen now.

Our Episode 28 Online Player:


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Horror Highlights: Filmmakers Jen & Sylvia Soska Featured on Special Episode of Shudder’s THE CORE, 68 KILL Blu-ray / DVD, PAPERBACKS FROM HELL Event

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:17 AM PST

Filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska, aka The Twisted Twins, take center stage as the latest guests on Shudder's new show The Core, hosted by Mickey Keating, and in today's Horror Highlights we also have a look at Scream Factory's Blu-ray / DVD release of Trent Haaga's 68 Kill and details on a live event for Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell.

Jen and Sylvia Soska Guest Star on The Core: "Today, Shudder releases the latest episode of The Core with host Mickey Keating and special guests The Soska Sisters. Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska also known as The Soska Sisters or The Twisted Twins, are Canadian twin sisters who work together as film directors, producers and screenwriters.

Whether it's a demo on head explosions, or a primer on avoiding predictable jump scares, The Core busts open the traditional talk show and plays with its guts. Host Mickey Keating (Carnage Park, Darling) and his guests examine the onscreen techniques and real-life psychologies that strike fear into our very core. We'll turn you on to what¹s thrilling in filmmaking today, without subjecting you to a chat with that dude Greg from film school."

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68 Kill Blu-ray / DVD: Press Release: "A gleefully gory grindhouse romp, the chaotic thriller 68 Kill is a wild-eyed, rowdy film that unapologetically embraces its midnight movie ethos. Available on Blu-ray and DVD January 9th, 2018 from Scream Factory, in conjunction with IFC Midnight, this blood-spattered dark comedy from Trent Haaga (Cheap Thrills) is now available for pre-order from ShoutFactory.com

Trailer-dwelling, sewage-pumping Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler, Criminal Minds) may not lead the most glamorous life, but he's got one thing going for him: he's head over heels infatuated with his girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord, 90210). He's more than willing to overlook her wild streak — the fact that she's hooking up with their landlord, her rather extreme mood swings — so when she proposes a plot to steal $68,000, he goes along with the plan. But what was supposed to be a simple heist turns into an off-the-rails, blood- spattered crime spree, and Chip learns the hard way just how deranged the love of his life really is. The new film from Troma alum Trent Haaga blends wicked comedy with pure pulp thrills for a no-holds-barred blast of insanity!

About IFC MIDNIGHT
Established in 2010 and based in New York City, IFC Midnight is a leading U.S. distributor of genre entertainment including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, erotic art house, action and more. IFC Midnight's films include Jennifer Kent's critically acclaimed THE BABADOOK; Can Evrenol's gore-filled surrealist tale BASKIN, Corin Hardy's Irish creature feature THE HALLOW, Adam MacDonald's wilderness thriller BACKCOUNTRY; Ben Wheatley's unconventional hitman thriller KILL LIST and Franck Khalfoun's slasher movie MANIAC. IFC Midnight is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. Visit IFCMidnight.com

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory's entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Factory Productions, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com."

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Paperbacks from Hell Live Event in New York City: From event's official Facebook page: "Come to a free performance of the mind-melting oral history of the horror paperback boom of the 70's and 80's that includes terrible accents, awful songs, and so many paperback covers your head will explode. As seen in Montreal, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, and many more unsavory locales.

PLUS: the madwomen and men who created these insane covers come onstage afterwards to talk about their careers, their work, and what's the best way to paint a skeleton playing banjo.

It's all happening at FIT's Great Hall, entrance on 28th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues...AND IT'S ALL FREE!

Tuesday, December 5 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM EST

Fashion Institute of Technology
227 W 27th St, New York, New York 10001"

The post Horror Highlights: Filmmakers Jen & Sylvia Soska Featured on Special Episode of Shudder’s THE CORE, 68 KILL Blu-ray / DVD, PAPERBACKS FROM HELL Event appeared first on Daily Dead.

Netflix Confirms That STRANGER THINGS Will Return for a Third Season

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 08:49 AM PST

Confirming what many expected and are already excited to see, Netflix has officially renewed Stranger Things for a third season.

The premiere date and episode count for the third season has yet to be announced, but we'll keep Daily Dead readers updated on further details. Based on what we saw in the second season (new characters, new locations, and new threats), the world of Stranger Things is only going to get bigger the third time around. Here's the official press release announcement from Netflix:

Press Release: Netflix announced today via Twitter that Stranger Things will return to Netflix for a third season.

The series stars Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven,Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Dacre Montgomery as Billy, and Sadie Sink as Max, among others.

The series is created by The Duffer Brothers, who also serve as executive producers and directors along with Shawn Levy (who also directs), Dan Cohen and Iain Patterson. Stranger Things is a Netflix production.

Stranger Things received 18 Emmy nominations this year (with five wins) and was honored with the 2017 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, as well as the 2017 Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television -- Drama from the Producers Guild of America.

The series is critically acclaimed, currently Certified Fresh, with a 94% rating for both Season 1 and Season 2 on Rotten Tomatoes.

Visit Stranger Things on Netflix!

The post Netflix Confirms That STRANGER THINGS Will Return for a Third Season appeared first on Daily Dead.