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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    Squirrels2
     
    Your ultimate nightmare about adorable, bushy-tailed tree rodents is coming to the big screen... well, we're assuming you've had nightmares like that. (We're not judging or anything.) Yes, someone out there has found the potential for horror in squirrels, and the new teaser and poster proves it... well, sort of.
     
    Squirrels_Posteri
     
    Yes, folks, Squirrels really is being developed as a feature. Timur Bekmambetov, director of Night Watch, Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is seeking funding for the nature-run-amok tale, which depicts the critters turning feral after their habitat is threatened by a gas company. Bekmambetov is acting as producer, and Red Sea Media is currently seeking a director and high-profile actors to attach to the project.
     
    Check out the teaser!
     

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    Last year, FEARnet did a little field testing in Los Angeles at the site of the notorious Blackout Haunted House, widely considered one of the most extreme attractions ever designed. This year, the creators of Blackout are changing the game with a new kind of “horror theater” entitled Blackout: Elements.
     
    Blackout_Elements
     
    If you haven't heard of Blackout, let's just say it takes the basic haunted maze concept to a whole new level, forcing the participants into a literally hands-on (and adults-only) nightmare – one so extreme that patrons must sign a waiver before crossing the threshold. The creators of Blackout: Elements don't go into detail about what makes this year different, but describe the experience as “longer and more intimate,” clocking at around 30 minutes, with guests facing the  terror alone.
     
    Blackout3
     
    Blackout: Elements will launch in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago this fall, and you can get the exact dates, locations and ticket info (including reservations, which are encouraged) at their official site. But before you go, have a peek at last year's Blackout, when four FEARnet staffers offered themselves as guinea pigs for a little experiment in terror...
     

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    Sea monsters are cropping up everywhere, and even the dead ones are seriously creeping us out. Like this weird discovery made on a beach near the Spanish town of Villaricos – a creature which looks like either an albino dragon or some kind of Mediterranean cousin to the Loch Ness Monster.
     
    Dragon1
     
    The first report came down from the Spanish site Ideal, and Boingboing passed along the story as recounted by local officials. The translation is a little wonky, but they basically describe a nasty-smelling, partially decomposed carcass measuring around 13 feet long.
     
    Dragon2Dragon3
     
    As of this writing, experts have not yet come forward to explain the origin and species of the bizarre creature, which seems to have some dangerous-looking spines along its... neck? Or is that a tail?

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    Horror movie fans spend a lot of time in the dark... but sometimes we want more than just the flickering light of the TV screen to keep us company. Artist Mama Minutia understands this perfectly, and has created some groovy votive candle holders decorated with images from some of our favorite flicks.
     
    Candles1
     
    Sold individually or in sets, the tall “prayer candle” style glass votives feature poster art from classics like The Shining, The Omen, Carrie, Jaws, Psycho and more.
     
    Candles5
     
    Also, no true fan's cinema shrine would be complete without these awesome Ray Harryhausen pop art-style monster candles:
     
    Candles2
     
    Even some lesser-known movie titles are represented, including The Haunting of Julia (one of my personal favorites):
     
    Candles7
     
    Most of these candles sell for just $7 apiece through Mama Minutia's Etsy shop, along with buttons, wall plaques, and other collectibles.
     
    [Thanks to the folks at Kindertrauma for bringing this one to our attention, via an article by Mama Minutia's “Megatone320.”]

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    They say it is for kids, but the Haunted Playhouse exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tokyo looks pretty badass for adults, too. Designed by Torafu Architects,  it is meant to subvert typical museum rules such as "Don't touch." Visitors are invited to interact with the portraits which, at first glance, look like ordinary paintings, but quickly reveal interactive touches that turn it into a haunted gallery. Patrons can even go "behind the scenes" and take part in the trickery.

    I must go look into plane tickets for Tokyo immediately. Enjoy these photos.


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    Photographer Adam Voorhes was commissioned by Scientific American magazine to go to the Texas State Mental Hospital and photograph a normal, healthy, adult brain. While he was there, he discovered the hospital had a collection of over 100 diseased and malformed brains. Initially collected for further study, a lack of funding meant the brains had been in storage - some for decades - untouched. So Adam decided to photograph them, and the results are compelling, eerie, and strangely beautiful.

    More photos and the artist's statement can be found at Public School


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    Devil's Pass PosterWhat began as a clever idea cooked up by filmmakers with more ingenuity than production money has now become a low-budget playground for filmmakers of every race, creed, nationality, and age bracket. We're talking (once again) about "found footage" horror cinema, that recently omnipresent filmmaking presentation that asks the viewer to "buy" that they're watching actual video material.

    Although largely the domain of independents both American (The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Grave Encounters) and imported (Troll Hunter, [REC], Lake Mungo), the "found footage" hook has also enticed filmmakers as varied as Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), George Romero (Diary of the Dead), and Barry Levinson (The Bay). So clearly there's something about the gimmick that appeals to filmmakers and film watchers in equal measure, and now we have another veteran ready to take a swing at the format.

    The mostly conventional but still rather intriguing Devil's Pass (aka The Dyatlov Pass Incident on the festival circuit) comes from good ol' Renny Harlin, the rather unpredictable Finnish director who brought us Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea, Mindhunters, and 12 Rounds, among others. Those (like me) who devour just about any found footage-style horror flick they can get their eyeballs on will no doubt find a lot of familiar components in Devil's Pass, but a game cast -- and just enough novelty in the plot (and location) department -- prevent the film from becoming just another carbon copy.

    The story follows five attractive young American filmmakers who travel deep into the foreboding mountains of Northern Russia to chart the course of a 1959 expedition that ended with nine people dead. And not just from frostbite, either. Suffice to say that there's enough mystery surrounding the decades-old "Dyatlov Pass Incident" to keep director Holly King and her four-person crew interested -- but after a (perhaps slightly overlong) set-up, Harlin and first-time screenwriter Vikram Weet manage to find their way, employ a truly ominous location, and deliver a few weird surprises you might not see coming.

    If Devil's Pass suffers from one glaring issue, it's that it follows the Blair Witch Project formula to an almost slavish degree. We even have a second act breakdown from our director in which she weeps and apologizes for all her unthinking hubris. Again, the cast, the locale, and the promise of an interesting couple of twists prevent Devil's Pass from becoming too familiar or tiresome, but at certain points the flick feels like little more than The Siberian Witch Project.

    Whether the payoffs in Devil's Pass come off as novel or ridiculous depends on the individual viewer, of course, but for a movie that offers a familiar premise in a fresh location, it does manage to throw in a few twisted little curve-balls towards the end. At the very least, Devil's Pass stands as further evidence that seasoned directors enjoy the found footage gimmick as much as the first-timers seem to, and that they can turn out a simple but crafty little horror tale when they feel like it.

    READ FEARnet's PARTNER REVIEWS OF DEVIL'S PASS


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    Two of the most critically acclaimed television programs of the 2012-2013 season owe the foundation of their success to horror movies: Bates Motel and Hannibal. The creators of these programs saw the potential in what has become one of the most common storytelling devices across all platforms – the origin story. They may have brought their iconic characters into the modern era, but they both got at the roots of how each horror icon eventually became so gloriously evil. How does a psychopath like Norman Bates navigate high school? What are the games that Hannibal Lecter played with Will Graham before the action of Manhunter and long before The Silence of the Lambs? They’re both brilliant programs.
     
    As anyone who knows anything about Hollywood will tell you, if there’s a good idea, it will be copied. A trend isn’t over until it’s burrowed into the ground through repetition. With that in mind, it seems inevitable that there are writers’ rooms around Hollywood trying to meet the mandate of “Who’s next? We’ve had Norman and Hannibal. What other horror films could survive or even thrive with the transition to the small screen?” Rather than deny the inevitable, we’re here to offer advice. Supernatural villains like Chucky might be fun, but they’d miss the humanity at the core of why Bates Motel and Hannibal work as well as they do. With that in mind, here are our picks for five horror films that could make for an engaging, exciting weekly series, listed alphabetically. 
     
    Note: An update of Stephen King’s It has tons of creative potential, but there are two King creations with even more potential and we don’t want to turn this into “What’s the next Under the Dome?” by placing too much emphasis on the legendary author. However, you can bet those conversations are already happening in network boardrooms at the moment, given the success of that CBS Summer series.
     
    [Warning: spoilers ahead!]
     
    Cabin_Woods
     
    The Cabin in the Woods
     
    It’s almost too easy. This would have to be a prequel (although one does long to see what happened after the giant hand smacked terra firma) centered on Gary, Steve, and the rest of the men and women tasked with keeping the underworld at bay. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s script for Cabin is so rich with ideas and story potential that one could draft a few seasons of entertainment just from the film’s infamous white board - the one with all the deadly possibilities that the staff uses in their betting pool. It might get a little morbid to watch sacrifices pulled off around the world every week, however, Whedon has proven he can make the horrific feel human. I don’t want to say it would be a pure office comedy, but learning more about how the team works, the planning that goes into an event, etc. would be fascinating. And nearly everyone involved in the film has TV experience. Get Goddard and Whedon back in as at least advisors; lock in Bradley Whitford and Amy Acker in their original roles. Can you imagine if they could get Richard Jenkins to do weekly TV? It would be huge.
     
    Fright_Night
     
    Fright Night
     
    Yes, I know, vampires are overdone. But with True Blood being about as entertaining as getting an actual transfusion nowadays, the genre could use another injection of spontaneity and creativity. The world of Fright Night is rich enough to have supported a comic book series at one point, a remake, and even a new straight-to-DVD sequel to that underrated Colin Farrell flick. Rather than go the cut-rate route, someone needs to take the story back to its core – a vampire in suburbia. How has Jerry Dandridge survived for so many years going from suburb to suburb? How does he keep his bloodsucking heritage secret? If done stylishly enough, the show could even have echoes of Let the Right One In (and its remake) in the way that story addressed the concept of immortals having to adapt to normal communities. It would make a great fit for AMC once The Walking Dead heads down the other side of its creative peak.
     
    Misery
     
    Misery
     
    How did Annie Wilkes develop such an obsessive personality that she kidnapped and maimed Paul Sheldon? This is straight from the Bates Motel model – the development of a lunatic. Was she another victim’s number one fan before Sheldon? Yes, it would be difficult to find an actress willing to draw comparisons to an Oscar-winning role, but the writers could update and alter the material to give its own personality. Don’t make it a period piece; make it a modern update of the early days of Annie Wilkes (How would she use Twitter and other social media to interact with her new Paul Sheldon?), a woman so lonely and devoted to the creative people she adores that she snaps. How she balances a seemingly normal life with an increasingly tenuous grip on how fans should interact with their icons would make for a wonderfully timely piece given the increasingly small gap between people who create and people who buy those creations.
     
    Shining
     
    The Shining
     
    The cultural staying power of The Shining is as much, if not more, than Psycho and Hannibal Lecter. Not only does the film constantly play in revivals and on cable, but a great documentary was just released about it (Room 237), a horror film festival was launched this year at its iconic location, and Stephen King is releasing a sequel to his original novel this Fall called Doctor Sleep. The time is right for a TV series. Of course, it’s prequel time again, but one set in modern days like Bates Motel. What happened at the Overlook before Jack Torrance got there? The creators could make nods to both the books and classic Kubrick film, all while carving their own path as a program that has what so many modern shows lack – a sense of setting. Television is built around characters, but what if the Overlook had the attention to detail of great modern shows and became a character in and of itself? Millions would check in every week.
     
    Wicker_Man
     
    The Wicker Man
     
    Not the Nicolas Cage remake (a film that served to spark viral videos of its overacting star more than anything else), but imagine a TV program that took viewers back to the core idea of the original – the alluring power of cults and the trouble people face when sucked into them. It would be called Summerisle, of course, and detail the origin of the pagan community that thrives there. Were there outsiders sacrificed before Police Sergeant Neil Howie? How did the power structure of the island come to be and how is it maintained? This could be a really smart, moody piece about societies creating their own structure that nods to the original while also speaking to concerns of today. Perfect for BBC America.

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    Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights has announced another new haunted attraction for this year, this time based on a legendary monster of Hispanic folklore. El Cucuy: The Boogeyman will join the studio's many new Halloween haunts (including The Walking Dead studio backlot experience and the Black Sabbath 13 3D maze), brought to ominous life by the voice of genre legend Danny Trejo (Machete Kills).
     
    El_Cucuy
     
    Trejo provided creative input, narration and the monster's voice for the maze, based on the tale of a mythical shape-shifting monster with sharp teeth and claws – a story told long ago throughout North, South and Central America to scare children out of misbehaving or wandering from home at night. Trejo's narration will guide patrons through the maze as the hulking monster attacks families and drags children to his cavernous lair. It's a nightmare out of Trejo's own childhood (if you can imagine him being scared of anything), inspired by the stories his mother told him about El Cucuy. “It freaked me out,” he recalls. “I grew up with it and I told it to my kids, too. I can’t wait to check it out.”
     
    Halloween Horror Nights kicks off at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 20th. Visit their official site for details... and check out this teaser!
     

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    Could this be a real-life Riddick? An alien visitor? Or maybe the first of the genuine X-Men? We don't know for sure... but we can confirm that history was recently made in southern China when doctors discovered that a boy named Nong Youhui can see in total darkness. He's the first documented case of a human being with natural night vision.
     
    Star_Child
     
    Nicknamed “Star Child” by his mother, Youhui amazed scientists (and secured an entry in the World Record Academy, also the source of this story) with his ability to see perfectly in the dark with his rare silver-blue eyes... which seem to glow when light hits them. The discovery was first made when his father brought him to an eye specialist, concerned that the eye coloration was a sign of illness. Not only did doctors determine him to be healthy, but further tests proved that the boy could read perfectly in the dark.
     
    Are we looking at next step in human evolution? That's hard to say, but we're thinking this may qualify as a legit superpower. Find out more in this clip from China's CCTV:
     

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    Hockey_Main
     
    If you've ever wanted to rock Jason Voorhees' legendary look, which began with Friday the 13th Part 3 and continues through the 2009 reboot and beyond – or if you've just wondered what Jason would look like sporting an American flag, camouflage or St. Patrick's Day theme – then artist Tim Shultz and the team at Cryptkeeper9 Productions are here to help.
     
    Hockey2Hockey6
     
    The “Hockey Horror Mask” collection is exactly what it sounds like: hand-made hockey masks patterned after Jason's own preferred disguise, beginning with the version he “borrowed” from prankster-turned-victim Shelly in Part 3 and progressing through nearly all the films.
     
    Hockey8
     
    The company also offers custom masks based on the customer's own specifications, and provides visual progress reports to make sure they're capturing the requested look. Some of these custom jobs look pretty awesome, by the way.
     
    Hockey12Hockey10
     
    The masks generally run between $100 and $130, and they've got nearly all the movie variants covered, with the Jason X“Uber-Jason” currently in the works as of this writing.
     
    Hockey13
     
    Drop by HockeyHorrorMask.com for the full gallery and ordering info, and be sure to visit the Cryptkeeper9 Facebook page to see some of those wild custom jobs and visits from all the big-screen Jason portrayers.
     
    Hockey9
     
    You can also see groovy fan-made videos like this one:
     

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    February's Women in Horror Month is a great opportunity to unite female horror enthusiasts, journalists, actors, directors, screenwriters, producers, and the like. But that doesn’t mean that the efforts of the women who fight for their place in the industry shouldn’t also be recognized throughout the year. There are many talented female directors, screenwriters, producers, and actors working in the production of genre films on a daily basis, but they don’t always receive the same level of recognition as their male counterparts. We hope for a time when Women in Horror Month will no longer be necessary, but we have a long way to go before that becomes a reality. So, to show our appreciation for the hardworking women who toil away in the horror genre, we'd like to spotlight five of our favorite female-helmed horror films.
     
    Chained
     
    Chained
     
    Jennifer Chambers Lynch (Boxing Helena) turned out a restrained and gut-wrenching modern masterpiece with Chained. The script was originally penned in the style of ‘torture porn,’ but Lynch retooled the draft to make the film more about the characters and their relationships; the result is a beautifully photographed film with heartbreaking performances. Vincent D’Onofrio turns in an absolutely spot-on performance as the serial killer Bob. His relationship with his unwilling protégé Rabbit (Eamon Farren) is multilayered and ultimately heartbreaking, thanks in no small part to Lynch’s keen directorial prowess. Chained is not the type of film you pop in when you want to unwind and kick back; it’s the type of movie to watch when you're in the mood to see a film that is expertly constructed, and will undoubtedly make you feel something. 
     
    Slumber
     
    Slumber Party Massacre
     
    This '80s slasher gem was crafted with Amy Holden Jones (The Rich Man’s Wife) at the helm. The plotline is pretty simple: a group of high school friends hold a slumber party and are picked off by an escaped mental patient with a drill and a demented idea of what ‘love’ is. The film raised a certain amount of controversy because, while it was intended to be a feminist’s response to the objectification and exploitation of women in slasher films, it follows some of the familiar tropes that audiences of the time had grown accustomed to. Rita Mae Brown, who penned the original draft, is among the film’s detractors. Realistically, we think the film walks the line quite well; the female characters embody many stereotypically male tendencies, and take on roles that are often occupied by men: the handyperson is a woman, the telephone repair person is a woman, the girls beat up the boys, the boys flunk gym class, and the boys' deaths are much more brutal than those of their female counterparts. As far as nudity is concerned, there is a bit of it, but it is fairly tongue-in-cheek, and no more gratuitous than what audiences saw in films like Halloween.
     
    Near_Dark
     
    Near Dark
     
    Near Dark is an early cinematic example of vampires exhibiting some human-like qualities, a trend that has since become almost the norm. The film boasts an impressive cast, including Aliens veterans Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein. The film made waves for throwing traditional vampire mythology to the wind, but audiences ate it up nonetheless. The film features strong performances from its leads and an interesting plotline involving a young man (Adrian Pasdar) chasing the girl of his dreams (Jenny Wright) who winds up part of a clan of bloodthirsty vampires. Kathryn Bigelow created a masterpiece with Near Dark, and has gone on to do great things since; her more recent works include a string of hits like Point Break, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.
     
    Pet_Sematary
     
    Pet Sematary
     
    If there ever were a contest for the most brutal Stephen King adaptation, Mary Lambert's Pet Sematary would certainly be a nominee; there's plenty of room for violence when the story revolves around a cemetery that has the ability to resurrect the dead with unpredictable results. Much of that violence involves the toddler Gage (Miko Hughes), including a particularly gut-wrenching scene where the lad is struck by a semi truck, but Lambert keeps it tactful despite of the film’s incredibly brutal and somewhat taboo subject matter. In less capable hands, the film could have been a disaster. Lambert did an excellent job of adapting King’s words for the screen, and was asked back to direct the 1992 sequel, which did not fare quite as well. She is also noteworthy for being the first female director to helm a Syfy original feature: Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Um, thanks for that…
     
    American_Mary
     
    American Mary
     
    The sophomore feature from the ambitious directing duo of Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska, also known as “The Twisted Twins,” is brutal in its subject matter, but surprisingly restrained in its actual depiction of onscreen violence. We are not subjected to gratuitous lingering shots of victims having their bones sawn off, or overly graphic surgical procedures. What makes the movie special is its strong feminist point of view: it takes a stand in favor of empowering women, but does so without alienating male viewers. American Mary brings us a strong protagonist who doesn’t need to be rescued by a man and can stand up for herself. Katharine Isabelle does a remarkable job as Mary, a medical student who finds herself involved in the underground world of body modification as a means to pay off her mounting debt. Isabelle has often stated that Mary has zero redeeming qualities on paper, but that she attempted to bring the character to life in a way that would endear the audience to her as much as possible. The Twisted Twins have a promising career ahead of them: they have just been tapped to direct See No Evil 2, and will contribute a segment to The ABCs of Death 2. 
     
    What are some of your female-helmed horror films? Let us know in the comments below. 

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    New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!

    Morbius: The Living Vampire No. 8

    Morbius has been tricked. He's been lied to, he's hurt people, and now Brownsville's about to pay for his mistakes. Or so it seems. A villain in a full face mask named The Rose has an Ultimate Nullifier, a sort of pocket device of great power, force, and destruction. He's just blown up part of Brownsville, and now Morbius has to overcome his own self-loathing and fight back.

    Bag it or board it up? I'm from the generation, now not as young as we wish we were, that grew up watching the Spider-Man animated series. Morbius was always a strange villain to me. He always seemed lost in a world of Kraven, the Hunter's and Hob Goblin's. In his own series he's written as a down on his luck sad sack. That's an interesting take on the one-time Midnight Son, but it sucks the momentum from the comic.

    Hellraiser: The Dark Watch

    Kirsty Cotton is now a Cenobite. She and her ilk are getting attacked by demons in the Labyrinth. This is not an ideal situation for anyone, because if Leviathan (the master of hell) comes under attack, it could undo all of this hell and unleash a brand new one. Harry, another cenobite (the cool one from the cover) has to get back to hell and help defeat the demons.

    Bag it or board it up? Finally some Hellraiser comics that don't read like a list of names and things you don't care about. The comic's author, Brandon Seifert, is doing a good job of balancing the rich Hellraiser mythology with a story that's actually readable. Well done!

    Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus 2 of 2

    Lobster Johnson continues his newest case in Chinatown. The gun wielding tough-as-nails 1930's detective from the world of Hellboy wants to find out who's been killing couriers in the neighborhood, and why. This leads him into the path of a Wu, a powerful witch/assassin and her hordes of evil monkey monsters.

    Bag it or board it up? Well, there were evil monkey monsters, so that's pretty awesome. All in all this is a pretty tame finale for the two-parter. Shots are fired, a spell or two gets launched, and exposition gets heaped upon the reader. Eh, they can't all be gems.

    Creepy No. 13

    The revival of the old horror series Creepy really hits its stride with Dark Horse. This week, to celebrate the 13th issue, Creepy has all types of awesome mini-comics. One story follows a girl who's family has been hiding dark secrets from her. Another shows what happens when you take that strange, special subway car. And especially of note, a reprinted classic comic featuring a Bram Stoker story.

    Bag it or board it up? This is, by far, my pick of the week. I'm normally just so-so on these reprints of old horror comics, but this issue hit it out of the park. The new stories were great, I'd never read the reprint before, even the comical buffer comics in between stories were great. This is just good old-fashioned spooky fun. Check it out.


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    Dexter Episode 809
    “Make Your Own Kind of Music”
    Written By: Karen Campbell
    Directed By: John Dahl
    Original Airdate: 25 August 2013

    In This Episode...

    Vogel and Dexter are checking Zach’s studio for evidence. The killer cleaned up well, but Dexter finds a spot of blood-caked hair stuck to the underside of the table. Dexter thinks Zach did this on purpose, which impresses Vogel. She uses this as a chance to turn on Dexter a bit, complimenting Zach for acting with “extraordinary calm” while Dexter is currently being “irrational.” Dexter runs the hair for DNA, and while the sample doesn’t have an exact match, it does have a familial match: Evelyn Vogel. Dexter goes straight to Vogel and demands the truth.

    Vogel no longer has any family. She used to be married, and they had two sons, Richard and Daniel. One day, Richard drowned in their swimming pool. Vogel thought it was an accident, but it soon became clear that her elder boy, Daniel, killed him. She should have known instantly: Daniel was devoid of empathy and a sense of right and wrong. She and her husband covered up Daniel’s involvement and sent him back to England, where they put him in a secure mental institution. Daniel was 14. Three years later, a terrible fire erupted in the institute, killing seven. One of those kids was Daniel, and while Vogel never saw the body, her husband did. Vogel gives Dexter a photo of Daniel, which Dexter ages up and matches with Oliver Saxon. A quick check of British death certificates shows an Oliver Saxon who would have been about the same age as Daniel. Plus, Oliver Saxon is a really, really British name.

    So let’s let that stew for a few minutes and focus on Dexter and Hannah. The manhunt for Hannah is growing intense. Elway has tipped off the federal marshals, and Agent Clayton pays Dexter a visit to “warn him” that Hannah may be in town. Batista wants to put uniforms on Dexter 24/7, but Dex talks him down to just his home and Harrison. But that leaves a couple of problems. First, Hannah has been having her friend Arlene hold onto lots of money for her - whatever the ladies could squirrel away from Castner. She needs to go pick up that money, but Dexter won’t let her go alone. While there, Clayton shows up, and Dexter explains that he met Arlene through Hannah. When questioned about her fancy new digs (paid for by Hannah as a thank you for acting as a bank) Dexter puts his arm around Arlene and lets Clayton fill in the blanks.

    With the money in hand, they need to stash Hannah someplace private for a few days, and there is only one place Dexter can think of: Deb’s house. Neither woman is thrilled at the prospect, but  Hannah doesn’t have any other options and Deb seems to have given in to this whole “Hannah” situation. She even sits down and has a meal - that Hannah cooked - with her. (Of course, Deb chooses the chicken that Hannah took for herself, and eats the salad very cautiously.) When Dexter has a few minutes alone with Hannah, talking about their future, he agrees to give notice at Miami Metro, pack up Harrison, and move to Argentina with her. (Harrison, after seeing Hannah’s picture on television, tells Dexter that he misses Hannah, and wishes she could be his mommy.)

    But first, there is this little matter of Oliver/Daniel to take care of. Vogel insists that Dexter not kill him. Dexter agrees, but this is all a lie. He figures that Oliver has been reading all of Vogel’s journal entries from her computer, so she writes up an entry about how she will be at the King’s Bay Cafe, a coffee shop she and Daniel used to frequent when he was a boy. The plan is for Dexter and Vogel to snatch him outside the cafe and take him directly to a mental health facility. But Dexter has other plans. He drugs Vogel with one of Hannah’s potions, then waits outside the cafe for Oliver. The plan is to follow him and abduct him a few miles from the cafe, then get him on his table. Oliver must have spotted Dexter beforehand, because when he goes to his car to pursue Oliver, Dexter finds his tires slashed. Dexter races straight to Vogel, who is annoyed that Dexter drugged her. Dexter promises she can be mad at him later, and tells her that Oliver escaped him and he is worried that Vogel is in great danger. Vogel assures him that she will take care of Oliver from this point on and pushes him out the door. The bum’s rush is because Oliver/Daniel is there. “Now do you believe that I didn’t send Dexter after you?” Oliver does, and sits for breakfast with his mom.

    Also: Deb is very close to rejoining the force. Elway is sick of her and encourages her to resign. Batista desperately wants her back and has a detective’s shield all ready for her. She really enjoys helping Quinn with his investigation into Cassie’s death, but when he leans in and kisses her passionately, without warning, Deb is a little weirded out. (But only a little - she has a big smile and it is clear that she would be open to dating him again. The Jamie thing obviously isn’t going anywhere.) Further complicating her decision to return is that Dexter and Hannah were with Zach in the Keys (“What was it, a serial killer’s convention?”), that her brother is a serial killer, and she has another one hiding out in her house.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Last week, several commenters eviscerated me about my belief that Vogel was the killer. Well, I was wrong - she merely gave birth to a killer. It is sad that Vogel is so blindly trusting of her psychopathic son - someone that she herself admitted was without empathy. Because there is no way that this will end well for her. Saxon had murder in his eyes when they sat down for that strangely creepy breakfast. 

    I can’t stop thinking that, after this episode, there are only three left... three left... it is haunting me. The “romantic” part of me (if I have such a part) wants Hannah and Dexter to escape to Argentina and live a blissful life. I want to see if Hannah can be enough for Dexter, if he will stop killing because of her. Not because she forces him to, but because he no longer feels the need to. But that just doesn’t seem like a realistic ending. At the beginning of the season I predicted that Deb will die, and I still think that is a likely scenario, but if she does, it’s starting to look like Elway is being set up as the killer.

    Psycho Babble

    Dexter admits to Vogel that he couldn’t say goodbye to Hannah, and insists that they will make a life together - “We will figure it out.” Vogel almost seems disappointed by this: “You are not the perfect psychopath I thought you were. You have a depth of emotion I never thought possible.” She thinks that Dexter’s plan of living a “normal” life with Hannah is dangerous. “Killers can’t have full emotional lives.”

    Prophecies?

    Someone is going to die next week. At least one person. Judging by the blood-splattered sleeve of the person that Dexter is clutching, that is looking like Vogel. It is definitely a woman’s blouse, it is nothing that Deb or Hannah would wear, and I don’t think he would have that panicked a look on his face for any other female in the cast (which is pretty much just Jamie).

    Only three episodes left...


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    It's not actually sake, but shochu. It's similar to sake but made from barley, and once you're drunk, do you really care what it is called?

    Toho Co Ltd, the company that owns the rights to the Godzilla character, comissioned the Konishi Brewing Company to create a tie-in for the 55th anniversary of the Godzilla movies. Artist Nariaki Ito sculpted the Godzilla bottle, which is limited to 3000 editions. The price is 10,500 yen, which translates to roughly US$100. That's about all I can extrapolate about this product because the Japanese translation is almost as hard to read as the original Japanese. So enjoy these photos!

    Source: MoIppai


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    Every time another indie horror film about women hits the scene, I open my reviews with comments on movies like May, Grace, Teeth, Inside, and The Woman: smart, dark, insightful films -- all written and directed by men -- that aim to shed some light on that most fascinating of all animals: the human female. One certainly wishes we had more films like this that come from female filmmakers (like this year's rather impressive American Mary), but at least there are some men out there who clearly take female characters very seriously.

     
    You can add the new indie horror film Contracted to that list. Written and directed by Eric England (Madison County), Contracted is little more than a character study of a woman who is slowly (and literally) falling apart -- but is too busy, too naive, and too damn scared to face her problems and get her life back on track. But that makes Contracted sound like a dry or preachy affair, which it is not. How well the film works for you depends on how well you can relate -- or at least empathize -- with our main character, a beautiful young lesbian named Samantha who makes some seriously bad mistakes during a party -- and lives to regret each and every one.
     
    Samantha (Najarra Townsend) is not an easy young woman to like, but given how many issues she has to deal with at once (overbearing mother, clingy best friend, disinterested girlfriend, lame job, horny stalkers, etc.) she quickly becomes a character worth pulling for. Even at her nastiest moments (and there are several), Samantha feels like an amalgam of every stress and worry than an early twenty-something has to contend with. And then she enjoys some drugs and some sex with a mysterious man, and all of those real-world problems take a back seat to something, well, let's just say "biologically insidious."
     
    Is Samantha turning into a vampire? A zombie? Is she suffering from a normal albeit horrific disease, or is she literally dying from the inside out? England, seemingly well aware that this is not exactly a "plot-heavy" horror story, plays his cards close to the vest, which allows a slightly wild premise to take root in a completely believable reality. It certainly doesn't hurt that Ms. Townsend provides a consistently excellent performance throughout, and those who crave some of horror cinema's more "simple" pleasures will certainly appreciate the nasty turns the plot takes during Act III.
     
    Most interestingly of all, while Contracted is definitely "about" a woman, and will certainly speak to a lot of female viewers, it's also about how frenzied, harried, complicated, and miserable your early adulthood can be. Sure, it's also a cautionary tale on how one should, well, protect one's privates at all times, but for a movie that's remarkably light on "plot," Contracted offers quite an impressive array of food for thought. Yes, it's icky and violent and shocking, but Contracted is also smart, insightful, and sort of tragic. Townsend's performance pretty much steals the whole show, but this still stands as one of the most intriguing indie horror films I've seen this year.
     
    And frankly it's the sort of low-budget indie that low-budget filmmakers should watch while taking notes. Score, cinematography, make-up effects, editing, production design, and various important intangibles. It's just an impressive little horror movie on the whole.

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    Holy smokes! I love me some 30 second bunny cartoons! And I love me some 'Insidious'! It's seriously one of our favorite horror films of that last couple of years here at FEARnet. So we're thrilled that Jennifer Shiman (the genius behind 30 second bunnies) decided to tackle the film just in time for 'Saw' duo James Wan & Leigh Whannell's follow-up 'Insidious: Chapter 2.' Also, 'Insidious' will have it's broadcast premiere right here on FEARnet on Sunday, September 8th! Tune in! And in the meantime, check out 'Insidious' in 30 seconds as performed by bunnies below!


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    Scream Factory - August & September releases

    A few weeks ago back at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, we made it a point to stop by the table of our good friends at Shout Factory whom we interviewed earlier this summer. After all, for the last year under their horror banner of "Scream Factory," they've been putting out some of our most beloved genre titles and giving them the "Criterion" style treatment, complete with stellar new digital transfers, bonus features galore and new original cover artwork. So right on the cusp of their Comic-Con panel, they announced a slew of new titles for the next year including John Carpenter's 'Assault On Precinct 13,' 'Darkman,' Cat People' and the long sought after director's cut of Clive Barker's 'Nightbreed.' On top of that, they also had the always lovely Adrienne Barbeau and 'Swamp Thing' (and Wolverine!) creator Len Wein at their table to celebrate the recent releases of 'The Fog' and 'Swamp Thing.' We got to chat with Adrienne, Len, as well as Jeff Nelson (marketing director) and Cliff MacMillan (acquisitions) about all of the above! Here's all the latest on Scream Factory! Be sure to keep up to date with them on the official Scream Factory Facebook and Twitter.

     


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    Rec4_top
     
    Production company Filmax and the crew of [REC] 4 Apocalypse recently invited Spanish site Gen16.com on a set tour during the filming of the latest (and allegedly final) chapter in the smash zombie saga, and you can see their footage right here.
     
    Rec4a
    [Possible spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the first two films in the series... and if you haven't, you should!]
     
     
    Now slated for a Halloween 2014 release, [REC] 4 marks the return of series co-creator Jaume Balagueró, who dropped the found-footage style of the earlier installments, and as you can see, actress Manuela Velasco is back as well.
     
    Rec4c
    Her character's evil secret seemed safe at the end of [REC] 2, but this time she is being held for observation at a high-security quarantine in an abandoned oil tanker.
     
    Rec4b
    We follow the camera crew as they explore the claustrophobic corridors of the set:
     
     
    An action sequence, shooting in progress...
     
     
    ...and a publicity shoot featuring Velasco and Balagueró.
     
     
    Lastly, be sure to take a peek at the theatrical teaser:
     

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    Cockroach1
     
    Remember the final chapter of Creepshow, entitled “They're Creeping Up on You?” Of course you do... and if you just squirmed in your seat at the memory of the climactic cockroach invasion (not to mention roaches-gone-wild movies like Bug and The Nest, or those huge scarab swarms in The Mummy), then it's a safe bet this story is going to be an uncomfortable read.
     
    Cockroach2
     
    According to the newspaper Modern Express, a farmer in the rural town of Dafeng in the Chinese province of Jiangsu had been raising one and a half million Periplaneta americana, or common American cockroaches, in a plastic greenhouse before an unknown intruder destroyed the enclosure and released the critters into the surrounding cornfields.
     
    The roach wrangler, Wang Pengsheng, actually had a very practical reason to go into the bug business, and none of it involved taking over the world (as far as we know). The cockroach is a key ingredient in some forms of traditional Chinese medicine, and substances within its body are believed to be beneficial in treating a variety of ailments, including cancer. Pengsheng had invested a fair chunk of change in raising prime-grade Periplaneta, and had even been feeding the bugs a specialized diet of fruits and biscuits... and totally not human bodies. We'd just like to make that clear.
     
    Local authorities, including safety and disease control experts, are currently working on a plan to stop the roaches from destroying the surrounding crops... and from creeping up on the surrounding town.
     
    Cockroach3
     
    Hey, did you just feel something brush against your leg?

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