Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Arriving thanks to the great success of James Wan’s “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle” picks up where its predecessor began. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but think of this supernatural thriller as a companion piece versus a sequel. While not as frightening or complex as the original, “Annabelle” is an effective scare fest filled with characters set up well enough to empathize with.

A couple’s home is invaded by satanic cultists. Shortly after, they begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll. Upon further investigation, the couple discovers the cultists have summoned an entity so malicious that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now… Annabelle.

Set in the 1970s, “Annabelle” plays out just like a lost film from that era. It takes time to set up each character and give the viewer a reason to invest in their lives. You get attached to them before unholy terror and tragedy reigns down upon each one.

Another reason it plays out like a genuine treasure from the decade of “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” is its focus on the satanic panic movement of the time. The drama unfolds as the Manson Family trial is playing out on the couple’s television. It captures the paranoia of a time when cults and a serial murderer known as the Zodiac Killer was on everyone’s minds. The American public was either fixated or unhealthily fascinated with the dangers of the occult.

“Annabelle” is rated R for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror. Blood is definitely shed on screen and I agree that some imagery is beyond what we’ve come to expect from PG-13 movies. However, there’s no nudity to be seen.

For those walking into “Annabelle” expecting a “Chucky” movie, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The doll is only one plot device used. The demon manifests itself using several different avenues which I don’t want to spoil entirely here. The most prevalent one is that of the female cult member who “infects” the doll with her tainted blood.

“Annabelle” is a worthy follow-up to “The Conjuring.” It comes as no surprise that producers would focus on the deadly doll as a means of carrying on what could become a franchise all its own. The creepy plaything almost stole the show. Just like Disney is doing with “Star Wars,” Warner Brothers could push out a spin-off film for each object in the Warrens’ occult museum every other year directed by up and coming talent while James Wan handles the “The Conjuring” sequels.

If that does come to light, then I for one am in!!

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Were you surprised in a good or bad way as to how the movie played out?

Let me know below in the comment section!

It’s getting to that time of year again guys when the Haunt season rolls in and everybody is starting to prepare for Halloween Horror Nights! The following are some random tips for anyone travelling to the event this year! Feel free to leave any other tips etc that you may think of in the comments below!

Thanks guys!

When should I go?

Any night in September is good. The later you go in Fall, the busier it will be. Saturdays are the busiest days of the week, followed by Friday. You should avoid the week before Halloween at all costs. November 1st is the last night of the event, and the crowds return to September levels, if that.

Is an Express Pass worth it?

It fluctuates in price each night. Some nights you would be paying as much as a regular admission. I’d consider buying one if 5/8 of the houses exceed a 90 minute wait time. So, in summary, get one on Fridays and Saturdays between Oct. 15-31.

Other Tips and Tricks

*The first and last Bill and Ted show each night are the least crowded

*Start your house from the back of the park and make your way to the front of the park as the night progresses.

*HHN is at its peak capacity around 10:30. Guests start to leave after then. Get into the park as close to the opening as you can.

*Talk to strangers. It helps distract you from the lines you’re waiting in.

I usually bring a backpack filled with the following items:

  • Poncho – Probably the most important item in my backpack. I recall one night where it rained literally all night. My girlfriend and I were soaked from head to toe. Then we bought ponchos. It at least keeps the rain off of your clothes. The downside to a poncho is that it gets pretty humid inside of it due to your body heat and the rain.
  • Small Umbrella – If you have the poncho, you’re probably ok. I bring a small umbrella just in case I don’t feel like wearing a poncho and the rain isn’t that bad.
  • Extra Socks/Shoes – This is only if you anticipate the rain is going to be bad. Usually when it rains, the lines for the houses get filled with huge puddles of water. Then you’re going to step in those big puddles and have wet shoes and socks. Then you’re going to hate your life.
  • Handheld game – Lines are long, and waiting in line staring at the drunk guy who took his shirt off and is singing Lady Gaga is only funny for the first 10 minutes, then it’s just sad and kinda creepy. Therefore, I usually bring my Nintendo DS and I’m distracted long enough to not notice the 2 hour wait times on each of the houses.

The backpack in itself is a great thing to bring because it can hold anything you buy during the event. You will have to open your backpack at the checkpoint to City Walk as well as the entrance to Universal. To make this as smooth and as easy as possible, I put together the following tips.

Things to not bring:

  • Weapons/anything that could be considered a weapon – You are going to have to pass through a metal detector when you come in the park. Don’t bring pocket knives, bottle openers, kendo sticks, or anything else that could be considered a weapon. Otherwise you’ll get it taken away and may not be let in.
  • Pens/Markers – I experienced this last year. I had just come from school so I had some Micron Pens in my backpack. The security pulled me to the side and told me that pens/markers weren’t allowed in the park. They took them, gave me a slip of paper and told me I could pick them up when I left the park. I don’t know what damage I could do with a Micron Pen, but it happened.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol in the park is expensive. I know your friends have done it and gotten away with it, so you’re going to try it. Don’t try and sneak alcohol in. They’ll just make you throw it away. And they won’t let you finish it off either.
  • Masks/Costumes – Just don’t bring these. The scareactors are here to scare people, not you. Which leads me to my next point…

Tips for not being an a-hole at Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Don’t attempt to scare/mess with the scareactors. This is probably the thing I see most from middle schoolers that got dropped off at the park by their moms. They want to look cool and mess with the scareactors. They try to sneak up on them in the streets and scare them from behind. Well it’s not cool, it’s rude and ruins things for the rest of us. This also goes for the houses. Don’t attempt to go into the actor’s boo-holes. Just walk through the house and experience it.
  • Don’t hound the scareactors for pictures. Sure, some will take pictures with you, but they’re here to scare people, not to take a selfie with you on Instagram.
  • Don’t blame the workers for long lines. Treat them with respect. They are just trying to work and put on this great yearly event for us.
  • Don’t touch anything in the houses. The creative team spent tons of time on these houses in making them extremely detailed. There are always drunk people that wander in the houses and rip stuff off of a table in a room. Just look around and experience it. No touchy.
  • Don’t smoke in line. This is probably the most annoying thing ever. Standing behind a guy for 2 hours who is chain smoking. Not only is it inconsiderate, but it can also get you kicked out of line. Universal has designated smoking areas for that.

 

Hopefully you guys enjoy this random collection of crazy horror movie facts I’ve thrown together!

Read on for more! Enjoy guys!

Poltergeist

So much has happened behind the scenes of the Poltergeist trilogy that it is said there is a Poltergeist curse. In the six years it took for the trilogy to be completed, five people attached to the film died:

  • Dominique Dunne, the oldest sister in the first movie, was murdered by her boyfriend.
  • Heather O’Rouke – main character Carol Ann in the trilogy – died of septic shock as a result of an obstructed bowel.
  • Julian Beck, who played Kane in Poltergeist II, died of stomach cancer.
  • Louis Perryman – Beck from the first movie – was murdered.
  • Will Sampson – The Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, died of kidney failure.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project” was filmed in 8 days and edited in 8 months. Thanks to this extremely quick turn around the movie cost only $22,000 to make. After it was released though, it made over $240 million, an incredible profit.

Halloween

The mask in ‘Halloween’ is actually William Shatner’s face. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a Halloween store, which happened to be William Shatner. They spray-painted it white.

The mask in 'Halloween' is actually William Shatner's face. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a Halloween store, which happened to be William Shatner. They spray-painted it white.

The original title for Halloween was ‘The Babysitter Murders’ but the production crew wanted the movie to all take place in one night due to costs etc.

The original title for 'Halloween' was:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The movies were loosely based on famous serial killer Ed Gein. The original working title for the movie was ‘Head Cheese’.

interesting, cool, movies, halloween, scary, 33 Interesting Facts About Your Favorite Horror Movies

Stay tuned for some more random and quirky horror movie trivia and facts! Don’t forget to like and share guys thanks!

Ever since the 2009 release of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, fans have been speculating on the future of the franchise.Michael Myers Readies the Kitchen Knife for Halloween: The Next Chapter?

When will Michael Myers return to the big screen, and will he slash again in the form of a reboot or a continuation of Zombie’s franchise? Read on for the latest rumor!

The website Schmoes Know reports today that a script entitled Halloween: The Next Chapter is currently being penned by an unnamed writer, set to be handed in to Dimension Films in the fall of 2015. Though little is known about this alleged screenplay, their sources tell them that it will be a continuation of Zombie’s films, while at the same time not being a direct follow-up to Halloween 2.

What the hell does that mean? Well, your guess is as good as ours at this point in time, but the site describes the so-called Next Chapter as a companion to Zombie’s films, creating a new line of Halloween movies within the rebooted franchise. Think Halloween 4, which took the original franchise in a totally different direction.

But apparently none of this is true according to the Halloween Facebook page, which stated;

”The rumors surrounding ‪#‎Halloween‬ The Next Chapter are not true.

We’ve been getting a lot of e-mails/tweets/Facebook messages lately about a project called Halloween: The Next Chapter. It seems that’s the latest buzz surrounding the next Halloween film and again it’s just not true. As we stated before, a new installment of Halloween is indeed in on track and moving forward and we are currently developing a script, to finally bring Michael back to the theaters!

More information will be released over the coming months and exclusively at Halloweenmovies.com. So make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, so you can know first!”

So, what are your thoughts guys? Whats next for the series? Comment below!!

Halloween The Complete Collection Blu-ray Box Set

Read more: http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/77954/michael-myers-readies-kitchen-knife-halloween-next-chapter#ixzz3AsfYRE3q
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Lot’s of people wondering what to watch if they want to get into horror but are unsure of which movies they would watch etc..

This list is for people who aren’t opposed to watching black/white movies and older movies too.

This is by no means a have to list or anything just a list I think that might benefit some people who want to watch a backlog of the history of horror!

Here it is below:

 

 

 

 

Nice and easy….let’s start with vampires.

  1. Nosferatu (1922) – You always remember the first time
  2. Dracula (1931) – Bela Lugosi defined Dracula as we know him today
  3. Horror of Dracula (1958) – Any Hammer film will do, but this is a good one with which to start
  4. Salem’s Lot (1979) – TV but ooooh scary
  5. Fright Night (1985) – This is a great way to learn the rules plus it’s fun
  6. Love at First Bite (1979) – Cause it’s too much fun to miss

Moving on to Werewolves.

  1. An American Werewolf in London (1981) – This is how to film a transformation
  2. The Howling (1981) – This was a good year for lycanthrope lovers. The Howling rocks
  3. Dog Soldiers (2004) – After years of hellish films, this came along to make it all better
  4. Silver Bullet (1985) – The Haimster vs the Werewolf…what more could you want?
  5. The Wolf Man (1933) – In the beginning, God made the hairy man. And it was good

*Now you can decide whether you prefer bipedal or four-legged werewolves. Personally I go for the two-leggers every time. I know London is the definitive werewolf flick, but the uprights are just plain scarier to me.

Look out. Here come the zombies.

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Uncle George’s first movie. Isn’t it cute?
  2. Dawn of the Dead (1978) – The most epic zombie film ever made. Many fans favor this one
  3. Day of the Dead (1985) – Think of these three as the Star Wars of zombie films
  4. Night of the Living Dead (1990) – This is one time I will allow you to enjoy a remake
  5. Dawn of the Dead (2004) – You can like this one too…just not too much. Then you can decide if you like ‘em fast or slow….slow, slow, slow
  6. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Beautifully made film that everyone should see, genre fan or not

  7. Re-Animator (1985) – This is how Lovecraft does zombies

Look up. It’s aliens. No, not up the page. Up in the sky. It’s a…nevermind. Here they are.

  1. Alien (1979) – Well what did you expect? It’s the coolest
  2. The Thing (1982) – Carpenter kicked so much butt with this film and the effects are stellar
  3. Spaced Invaders (HAHA NO! Just making sure you are paying attention)
  4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 and 1978) – Watch both. Both are good

The Slashers.

  1. Halloween (1978) – Carpenter’s spooky flick that gave us an icon
  2. Friday the 13th Parts 1-3 (1980) – The ones that started it all…for Jason
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Leatherface in all his gory glory (but it’s not gory)
  4. Psycho (1960) – Hitchcock did it first. Watch it here.
  5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – Who could forget Freddy once he gets his mitts all over ya?

Miscellaneous or movies that should be watched just because:

  1. The Fly (1986) – I encourage you to watch the original with Vincent Price as well, but this one is awesome-er
  2. The Exorcist (1973) – What possessed you to miss this movie? Christ compels you to watch it
  3. Jaws (1975) – I will bite you if you don’t watch this movie. It’s my all-time favorite
  4. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Classic tale of paranoia….maybe
  5. The Birds (1963) – See? Hitchcock can make the simplest things scary as Hell

That’s a pretty decent list to get you started. I am not saying these are the only important films out there nor am I saying you shouldn’t watch anything else. Of course you can watch whatever you want, but these are the ones I am certainly glad I didn’t miss early on. They helped me love horror like I do today.

And now for some guidelines…

  • Don’t jump right in with some 70′s grindhouse/splatter/exploitation film. You probably won’t get it and you will consequently hate the genre you are learning about.
  • Do rent or borrow or watch on cable any classics you can get your hands on. Do not be afraid of black and white films. They will not hurt you. But missing some of them may hurt you. Look for anything involving William Castle, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Jr or Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Don’t watch a remake before you watch the original. See number Number One Rule below
  • Do watch the originals while trying to keep in mind the time period and what was going on with technology as well as politics and pop culture….look out, you just might learn something
  • At least until you are ready…stay away from anything referred to as a re-imagining. You have to crawl before you can run screaming

Above all, have fun and remember that being scared is a natural thing. It’s what keeps us safe from all the real-life boogeymen. Nothing wrong with honing that skill from time to time. If you feel you don’t want to enter into this alone, bring a buddy. The more the merrier. Remember when I mentioned the Number One Rule? Here it is:

“You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know whence you came.”

Respect the classics. They paved the way for all of us.

At most Halloween attractions you’re an observer. The cardinal rule is that the actors can’t touch you. At Camp Darkwood, you’re a participant, and simply being touched is the least of your worries. This is an overnight, interactive horror experience where you’ll get to live through the frightening story for 12 hours. It’s everything you loved about camp as a kid – and everything you’ve been afraid of your entire life.

Campers will arrive at 7:30pm and be given a map and a list of clues. Once settled in at their cabins they’ll head to the mess hall for dinner and orientation. Afterward each group will follow their counselor to the next activity.

Activities

THE RITUAL

An extreme scavenger hunt that will require both bravery and cleverness if you want to win. This will be the most terrifying part of your camp experience as you’ll be facing horrific monsters, sadistic cultists, and worst of all – your deepest fears. The Ritual will take up most of your evening as you crisscross the campground looking for items to collect. Some will be freely given, and some may cost you. The creatures and cultists will be working to keep you from completing The Ritual by any means necessary and you may end up strapped to a table at their mercy or buried alive in the woods. This activity is not for the faint of heart.

Please note: each camper will be given a safeword to use if they wish to opt out of anything that happens to them. HOWEVER – If you use the safeword you will be disqualified from completing The Ritual.

CAMPFIRE TALES – Join our storytellers as they entertain you around a bonfire with blood curdling stories of horror and the macabre. Campers confident in their storytelling abilities can participate too! S’mores are included (of course).
ARTS & CRAFTS – Our crafty counselors will guide you through creating horror-themed decorations, collectibles, and treats.

FREE PLAY – During Free Play campers may enjoy any of the activities listed below

  • Movie Marathon – Relax and enjoy our indoor, big screen horror movie marathon with free popcorn!
  • Horror Trivia – Join host Clay Baker for two rounds of trivia each night, on everything from horror literature to scary video games

What’s Included

  • All activities listed above
  • Dinner consisting of one meat, two sides, and a roll (vegetarian options are available)
  • A water bottle that you can refill at our water stations throughout the night
  • A tote bag to collect your scavenger hunt items and carry your arts and crafts
  • One ticket for s’mores during campfire tales and one ticket for popcorn during the movie marathon
  • One twin bed in a cabin (bedclothes not included)
  • Continental breakfast

What You Should Bring

  • A Flashlight
  • A pillow, sheets, and blanket/sleeping bag
  • Anything you would bring for an overnight trip (medication, contacts, toothbrush/toothpaste)
  • Clothes you do not mind getting dirty and a clean outfit if you wish to shower/change. You will be getting dirty and gross if you participate in The Ritual.
  • Nerves of steel

We had the chance to speak with the guys behind this amazing attraction! Here’s some of what we talked about :

How did it start? How did you become involved? The idea for Camp Darkwood came from us fantasizing about the perfect Halloween attraction, the kind of thing we’ve always wanted to go to. We saw that other people like Blackout House were doing more involved, more intense attractions and we wanted something like that in our neck of the woods.

Roles you play etc. The camp is run by myself, Roman Paul, and my partner Ember Marr. Ember is the Business Director and I’m the Creative Director, but we both dabble in everything.

What it takes to make such an attraction? It takes a lot of determination to build it from the ground up. We started with no money, no staff, just an idea, so we called in favors from our friends and entered local business competitions to get it off the ground. We spent over a year planning and getting everything together before tickets went on sale.

What people should expect? Our campers should expect to live through a horror movie for twelve full hours. Camp Darkwood will be more immersive and intense than anything most people have experienced. You’ll be tied up, blindfolded…maybe even buried alive. What could be more fun than that?

What started your love for this? Any particular thing that sparked your love for this? Thoughts on attractions such as halloween horror nights?

We’re both life long horror and Halloween fans, so it’s hard to point to one thing in particular. I think that, for the most part, Halloween attractions have stagnated and that’s why you’re seeing this trend of more experiential attractions like Camp Darkwood, Horror Camp Live, and Blackout House. Theme parks still have pretty fun attractions due to the sheer size and budget that they have.

Camp Darkwood is located at Glenn Wood Hills Campground, 10747 Tide Rd, Derby, IN 47525.

Check this attraction out at – http://campdarkwood.com/

WillowCreek-1

Existing soon.

MPI/Dark Sky Films has announced Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek for release in theaters and demand on June 6.

EW has “discovered” the film’s first trailer and poster, the latter which is really striking.

Here’s the most insanely long synopsis ever written:

“Set in Humboldt County, California, ‘Willow Creek’ centers on Jim (Bryce Johnson, ‘Pretty Little Liars’) a Bigfoot believer whose idea of a romantic getaway is to head deep into Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, video camera in tow, trying to shoot his own Bigfoot footage at the site of the Patterson-Gimlin film. That 1967 fragment of footage purporting to show Sasquatch striding along a dry riverbed became a key artifact in the cryptozoology community, and Jim dreams of nothing more than setting foot on the actual location where it was shot. His long-suffering girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore, World’s Greatest Dad), agrees to tag along for the ride, despite the fact that she thinks Bigfoot has about as much chance of being real as leprechauns.

The two stop off first in Willow Creek, the Bigfoot capital of the world and home to an annual Bigfoot festival, where various locals talk to Jim’s camera, warning them to keep out of the woods, singing ballads about Bigfoot, and generally enjoying their 15 minutes in the spotlight while Jim and Kelly have a blast, cracking wise amidst all the touristy Bigfoot kitsch on display. But when they strap on packs and head into the forest via a two-hour drive down a dirt road, they start to feel like they might be in over their heads. Well, Kelly does, at least. Jim, as he approaches what he considers hallowed ground, is in heaven.

That night they’re awakened by mysterious sounds echoing through the woods, and whooping vocalizations that might be Bigfoot, but that might also be locals screwing with them. Either way, they’re not welcome here and so Jim and Kelly decide to get out come sun-up but, as they quickly discover, it might already be too late, and as the sun goes down for the second time and they find themselves retracing the steps of Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin they discover the truth behind Bigfoot and the disturbing meaning of the term “forest bride.”

With the most recent “Paranormal Activity” film having the softest opening weekend of the series, it might seem as if the franchise is on it’s last legs.  However, if the series should finally bring it’s long reign to an end, would the creators have an endgame in mind?

In an interview with Slash Film, director and writer Christopher Landon revealed that the series does indeed have a destination.

We’ve always been looking ahead. I’ll say this much. There is a very specific end goal and I’m hoping we have enough time in the franchise to get there. We have a really big idea that’s at the finish line but we need time to get there. So we’re hoping the fans keep coming back and allow us to get them there

Based on that wording, it doesn’t sound like the end will come this October when Paramount releases “Paranormal Activity 5″.  However, depending on how that film performs, they might be encouraged to wrap the story up sooner rather than later.

In the most  recent “Paranormal Activity” film, we got a taste of the extended universe and saw a bit more of what this franchise has to offer.  Did we, perhaps, get an idea of how the series will end? According to Landon, the seeds for the ending could have been planted as early as the first movie.

The beginning of that started in [the first film]. I don’t think Oren realized it then, because when he made the first movie it felt like a standalone movie, but then when we started making 2 and we started to see the potential and possibility there for a franchise, that’s when the real think tank element came in to play and we really started to throw out crazy ideas. Then, over the course of the last couple movies, we came to a really good, interesting place.

It’s anyones guess as to when this franchise will come to an end, but for fans of the series it’s a comforting thought to know that there’s some grand plan in work.  Whether or not it’ll be a satisfying conclusion remains to be seen, but if the most recent film is any indication, they’re willing to take some big risks with the franchise. And if anything, that’ll at least keep things fresh for now.

There is an Ending to the Paranormal Activity Series

Now this is what a slasher flick should be and exactly what I always want from the slasher movies these days but never get, hence my huge interest in the older slasher movies from time periods like the 80′s and 90′s. Four years before the unprecedented success of John Carpenter’s landmark American horror film “Halloween” in 1978, there was this little gem from Canada called “Black Christmas,” directed in 1974 by the late Bob Clark, and was arguably the first true slasher film (1974 was also the same year that American filmmaker Tobe Hooper directed the landmark “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”).

“Black Christmas” is an expertly directed horror film, there’s no question about that. The story is incredibly simple, yet stylishly executed. It’s deliberately and excellently paced by Bob Clark, who skillfully injects the film with a wicked sense of dread from the get-go, undercut with some slickly timed dark humor (a lot of which is actually quite hilarious). Said humor is appropriately biting and deserves some well-placed laughs but unlike most movies to mix comedy and horror, “Black Christmas” doesn’t sacrifice one for the other. In other words, what starts out as a serious thriller doesn’t devolve into a mindless, gore-filled slapstick comedy (like “Evil Dead II,” which I love by the way). First and foremost, this is a horror film – a seriously effective and scary one at that.

Upon having watched “Black Christmas,” there’s no doubt in my mind that John Carpenter and company watched this film at least once (and took some very, very good notes) and it most definitely played a hand in influencing the directorial style of “Halloween” (although it’s widely known that Alfred Hitchcock’s landmark 1960 thriller “Psycho” had the most influence on “Halloween”).

What makes “Black Christmas” such an important staple in the horror genre is that a lot of the slasher movie elements that most likely first appeared in this film were later used, and popularized, by “Halloween” just four years later down the road. Most importantly, is the fact that many times throughout the picture, the film is shown from the point-of-view of an unseen killer. We many times see his actions as he goes about the prowl for potential victims, in this case the residents of the Pi Kappa Sig sorority house. We also hear his breathes as he stalks the house sisters, and he is always that unseen-but-always-felt presence in the room, like something horrible is lurking just out of sight in the shadows.

The women of the Pi Kappa Sig house are preparing to leave for the Christmas holidays, but a few – Jess (Olivia Hussey), Barb (Margot Kidder), Phyl (Andrea Martin), and house mother Mrs. Mac (Marian Waldman) – decide to stay behind. However, someone has been making obscene phone calls to the house and scaring the living daylights out of the women. And it isn’t long before the unseen presence begins to systematically eliminate the women in some particularly gruesome and creative ways. It’s up to the police, led by Lt. Fuller (John Saxon), to try to find this psycho before he kills anyone else.

Even though “Black Christmas” does feature some particularly gruesome and shocking scenes of murder and mayhem, it actually contains very little gore (it’s possible that it, like “Halloween,” took a few cues from “Psycho”), the film still works largely through the power of suggestion – like what you don’t see is far more terrifying because your mind allows you to fill in the gaps. Additionally, there’s also a very low body count.

It’s entirely possible that Olivia Hussey was probably the original scream queen, although, like the actress has said herself in interviews included on the 2006 special edition DVD, she actually doesn’t do any screaming in the movie. All the characters in this film are three-dimensional and likable, especially Margot Kidder’s drunken party-girl Barb. She was probably my favorite character. Kidder, who is probably most famous in the cinematic world for her work as Lois Lane in the “Superman” series films – “Superman II” (1980) saw her at her best, in my opinion – gets some of this film’s best lines and also provides some of the best comedic moments. This is another aspect of “Black Christmas” that I find so ingenious: to create so many likable characters so it’s much more tragic when the Unseen Killer begins offing them. It’s just a shame that its many, many like-minded imitators (or even its 2006 remake) over the years didn’t follow the same pattern.

This is one scary fright flick that helped give birth to a new sub-genre of horror, and later influenced “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th” (1980) and my favorite slasher flick of all time, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). It’s also pretty funny, which admittedly, I was unprepared for, and made my appreciation for this film even greater. But make no mistake, the first order of business in “Black Christmas” is horror, and scaring the living daylights out of you, which it does in spades with suspense, easily identifiable and memorable characters , Bob Clark’s sharp direction, and minimal gore. So don’t let its imitators fool you.

I give this one a solid 8/10

Stay tuned for my next review of the Black Christmas Remake!

Aran (Boyler)

Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, proudly announces the release of the horror/thriller Sanitarium for home video.

Directed by Bryan Ortiz, Bryan Ramirez, and Kerry Valderrama, the film stars Malcolm McDowell (Halloween, “Franklin & Bash”) as the sinister Dr. Stenson. Sanitarium will be available on DVD and digital download on December 31, 2013.

Abandon everything you’ve ever believed about that brittle concept we call “reality” and prepare to enter a macabre netherworld of shadows, fiends and phantoms – a twisted realm of waking nightmares and warped minds, locked away in unrelenting torment. Welcome to the Sanitarium. Behind the walls of the Sanitarium, Dr. Stenson holds dominion over the inmates of a most unusual asylum. Horror Legend Robert Englund (Freddy vs. Jason, A Nightmare on Elm Street) also stars with John Glover (“Smallville”), Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) and Lou Diamond Phillips in three chilling tales of unspeakable terror that will drive you over the edge of reason – and beyond!

Sanitarium 726x1024 Trailer, Release For Sanitarium, Starring Malcolm McDowell, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Robert Englund!