<![CDATA[horrorigins.com - Articles]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2024 09:48:59 -0800Weebly<![CDATA['WHEN EVIL LURKS': A Vicious Nightmare Wrapped in Parental Angst {Movie Review}]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2023 23:24:24 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/when-evil-lurks-a-vicious-nightmare-wrapped-in-parental-angst-movie-review
Unsettling and already divisive among horror fans, When Evil Lurks is a film that is fully aware of what it’s doing. There’s hardly any buildup and it hops from one scenario to another in a plot that many will compare to other possession films. However, there are some fresher ideas hidden amongst the corpses splayed throughout the running time.  
In the middle of the night, two brothers, Pedro (Ezequiel Rodriguez) and Jimi (Demián Salomón) hear a noise and wisely wait until dawn to investigate. Immediately, we’re shown a beautiful landscape and the rural countryside right at sunrise and understand that in another film, in another life for these characters, this could be a peaceful place. But alas, this is a horror movie, and they discover a corpse with strange belongings. They begin to question their neighbors, including a sick and deformed man known as a "rotten," who is unsafe to touch and apparently will remain a threat to the land everyone on it unless disposed of.  Those with dark senses of humor will appreciate how the struggle is framed as the pair try to keep the bloated figure in a sheet and get him to a truck, only to lose him as they pass a school, allowing the contamination to continue. 

Early on, as the characters discussed the process of dealing with a “rotten" and argued amongst themselves, I felt like I were watching a dream. One of the brothers attempts to explain the situation to his ex and her new husband, urging them to leave town before this escaped evil engulfs everything, but things appear to go from bad to worse. Deaths occur, the police are called, and strangely, upon hearing gunshots, they turn their patrol car around and drive away as if their role in the story has concluded. If this film is viewed as a nightmare in which dialogue serves solely for the dreamers' benefit and not the audiences, then the scenarios work better. What feels fresh isn’t some new complex lore, but rather just helplessness. It’s this oppression that writer/director Demián Rugna understands well.  

Picture
Ezequiel Rodríguez in Demian Rugna’s WHEN EVIL LURKS. Courtesy of Shudder and IFC Films. A Shudder and IFC Films release.
Pedro drives a portion of his family away, constantly pursued by those who are possessed, screaming and struggling to understand what he’s dealing with, and so do we. A person can feel alone and helpless watching this movie, partially because the rules about the “rotten,” and possessed aren’t easily spelled out, nor does the world feel natural. The town feels just as empty as the farm until a tragedy occurs, and then they  only seem  to show concern for the aftermath.  By this point, the rotten include a number of kids that stalk, manipulate, and murder like distant cousins of The Children of the Corn. No one is spared and as the viewer discovers, one of Pedro’s children is autistic and doesn’t even want to leave the car when night time comes. It is a unique situation that mirrors the more natural scenarios parents often find themselves in.  

Visually, the film is well-shot and effectively portrays sunlight seem as a harsh element that only highlights any violence more clearly. The actors valiantly push forward with exposition that primarily instructs rather than elaborates. As I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate this film more as a dream, and the way the characters act encapsulates that very effectively. It would have been even more harrowing if the film had shown things from only one of the brothers' perspectives, but I’d be remiss to deny the film’s power. You feel this strange world falling apart as some take it less seriously than others. Despite the few questions I have for a second viewing, I believe I haven't taken possession more seriously because the ideas in this film work quite well.

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​AUTHOR

Davis has been a horror fan since he was a little kid and watched Scream and Jaws for the first time.  He graduated with a degree in theatre education and a Georgia Film Academy Certificate from Columbus State University and is known for his huge film collection and a passion for the industry.  He’s written film reviews for college papers, worked as a PA, short film writer, and actor and can’t wait to do more with the HorrOrigins team!  He’ll soon be appearing in the short film Wild HR which will be shown at the OutlantaCon Short Film Festival and can be found getting stalked by Ghostface in the YouTube video Return To Woodsboro.
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<![CDATA[10 Recent Horror Hits to Watch This New Year {HorrOrigins List}]]>Tue, 03 Jan 2023 08:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/10-recent-horror-hits-to-watch-this-new-year-horrorigins-list
Catching up with 2022 releases might seem like a tedious task considering that this era has been one of the best for the genre in some time. With a multitude of successful franchise reboots, golden age horror auteurs back in action and original works taking the world by storm, there’s a little something out there for everyone. 2023 looks to be even more fulfilling for the fans, and while we prepare for what’s to come, here is a list of ten titles that you should check out before the end of this year.

10
Studio 666
Directed by B.J. McDonnell

The Foo Fighters are looking to record a new hit album, and what better place to do it than a haunted mansion in LA? See Dave Grohl and the rest of the bandmates grapple with supernatural forces and demonic possession in this hoot of a horror comedy.
Studio 666 doesn’t always land in its humor attempts, but exists as a ridiculously entertaining piece of metafiction that commits to absurdity. Goofy and gory all throughout, this ode to 80s horror delivers. Also starring rising scream queen, Jenna Ortega!


9
House of Darkness

Directed by Neil LaBute

Released digitally on the same day Barbarian hit theaters, this romantic thriller starring Justin Long finds tension in talking and a moody atmosphere. He meets Kate Bosworth in hopes to hook up, and the arrival to her secluded estate turns things sinister.
House of Darkness is a short, yet extensive, reimagining of Dracula in the modern dating realm. With compelling dialogue and performances that latch on tight, it should fill your desire for a slightly erotic and entirely intriguing vampiric tale.

8
Dark Glasses / Occhiali neri
Directed by Dario Argento

Returning the master of the thrill, Dario Argento, himself to the directorial field for the very first time since Dracula 3D in 2012, this funky Giallo is a pleasant surprise. Ilenia Pastorelli stars as an escort, blinded and pursued by a serial killer.
While Dark Glasses isn’t groundbreaking compared to any Argento film from the 1970s and 80s, it’s serviceable and often familiar. With frequent action and some nasty bits of gore sprinkled from start to finish, it acts as a stunning return to form.


7
Deadstream

Directed by Joseph & Vanessa Winter

Our current media landscape is overridden with influencers, and Deadstream knows exactly how to deconstruct it. With commentary surrounding cancel culture and the cyclic nature of problematic internet personalities, this found footage satire cuts deep.
Co-director Joseph Winter portrays the disgraced final boy, who stakes out at a haunted house in an attempt to regain his fans & sponsors. As the night progresses, things get bloody in one of the most creative SFX showcases since Evil Dead II.

6
You Won’t Be Alone

Directed by Goran Stolevski

Set in the 19th century, this directorial debut blends fantasy and folk horror elements, bringing a new meaning to the word allegory. You Won’t Be Alone presents a tale about human nature – love, life, and loss – through shapeshifting and witchcraft.
It looks and feels similar to many of the ‘elevated’ films released in recent years, though it rises above them with an authentic discussion of sex and gender, and swift body horror sequences. One fascinating, wildly emotional period piece.

Related: ‘You Won’t Be Alone’: A Bone-Crushing, Blood-Spilling Thing of Beauty {Sundance Movie Review}

5
Flux Gourmet

Directed by Peter Strickland

Flux Gourmet is an odd black comedy that feels like Crimes of the Future if it followed people with gastrointestinal disorders. As in Cronenberg’s film, it revolves around performance artists, who extract sounds from food, rather than unidentified organs.
There’s a lot to praise about the style here, and the cast feeds into Strickland’s off-beat humor almost effortlessly. With kinky undercurrents and a flat deadpan tone, Flux Gourmet is a unique project that feels raw in its idea of longing to belong.


4
Bed Rest

Directed by Lori Evans Taylor

Bed Rest brings back Melissa Barrera and the studio behind this year’s relaunch of Scream, in a smooth paranormal thriller ripe with survivor’s remorse. Combine that with a haunted house atmos that feels unnerving from the jump, and there you have it.
While it feels familiar, it is never generic, and places emphasis on Barrera as an actress to carry the film as a whole. Best in its final twenty minutes; a sleek, haunting Tubi original that should keep you steady until Scream VI graces our screens.

3
Christmas Bloody Christmas

Directed by Joe Begos

It wouldn’t be right to exclude the newest wintery horror from our list, so if you want a fresh sci-fi slasher, you’re in luck! Christmas Bloody Christmas sells itself on the premise of a Santa Claus animatronic gone haywire, and it delivers precisely that.
Drenched in neon lighting, this 16mm independent flick is an absolute beauty. Action is relentless and the kills are quite gruesome, rarely slowing down after the snowy small town setting is established. An instant classic for the holiday season.


2
A Wounded Fawn

Directed by Travis Stevens

What happens when you throw a museum curator into the dating pool where a serial killer is on the prowl? You get a romantic film in the vein of this year’s Fresh, with a much heavier psychological slasher component and a fabulous shot-on-film presentation.
A Wounded Fawn came almost out of nowhere, with a quiet preview at the Tribeca Film Festival before it became available on Shudder. It feels like a movie-within-a-movie, visuals out of the ordinary, and a mystic approach that you won’t find elsewhere.

1
Nanny
Directed by Nikyatu Jusu

By far one of the greatest feature debuts to hit the horror field this decade is Nanny, a thought provoking story about a mother’s sacrifice. It acts as a psychological-supernatural genre hybrid and packs a pretty heavy punch after all is said and done.
Led by Senegalese actress Anna Diop, this film is gorgeous no matter which way you look at it. From the use of color to the rising tensions and a nuanced unraveling of today’s climate, it’s a near-masterpiece as rich as every on-screen performance.

RELATED: ‘Nanny’: Subtle, Character Driven & A Bit Light On Scares {Sundance Fest Movie Review}

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Author

Born a few towns over from the infamous Amityville Horror house, Steven Thomas has been fascinated with the genre for as long as he can remember. His love for horror stemmed from the likes of Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and was amplified with the release of Scream 4 in his elementary years. Between writing frequent capsule reviews on Letterboxd and plotting to become the next “master of horror”, Steven currently studies Film & Media at CUNY Queens College.

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<![CDATA[Top 10 Horror Films 2022 {HorrOrigins List}]]>Sat, 31 Dec 2022 08:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/top-10-horror-films-2022-horrorigins-list
Well horror fans, another year has come and gone, and what a surreal year it has been. A year where August felt too long and October was gone in a flash. A little off balance there, but man, have we seen some sights on our screens. Many icons returned, both in front of and behind the camera. Sam Raimi made the first scary movie in the MCU, and the horror elements of Batman comics were finally brought to the big screen. Horror has managed to be fun and serious on all spectrums, and the promise of what’s to come is a great note to end on. Before we embark into 2023's uncharted territory, let’s take a look back at some of the best features to shock and entertain from 2022.

Honorable Mention
Adult Swim Yule Log aka The Fireplace

[Adult Swim] definitely threw everyone for a loop when they released this secret feature as part of their Witching Hour infomercials. What starts off as your expected long form footage of a crackling fireplace slowly becomes a series of events following a couple staying at a remote cabin in the woods. Let’s just say the backwoods killers hiding when everyone gets home is only the beginning. A unique experiment in presentation that goes way above and beyond from Casper Kelly, the director of the channel’s cult favorite, Too Many Cooks. The Fireplace is a twistedly fun and macabre film that’ll have you on the edge of your seat with the shocks it hits you with. It may have come out late in the game, but it’s an experience horror fans didn’t know they needed during the holidays.

10
Bones and All

Suspiria recreator, Luca Guadagnino returns, both to horror and his romance roots, with this road movie about two young cannibal drifters finding each other. Expertly shot, showing off the beautiful ruin of 1980’s Americana across the Rust-Belt states, Bones and All is a surprisingly tender film that captures a new relationship at its fullest and most impulsive. That makes the scenes of our leads devouring the freshly dead all the more stomach churning. It's an unconventional yet gripping story of young love, that is at heart true to its form. Life is unfair, and things don’t go as planned, especially when you’re both eating fingers like chicken wings.

9
Prey

In the ongoing struggle of where to take the Predator franchise, leave it to Dan Trachtenberg to literally scale the story back to the 1700s. When a young Comanche hunter sets out to prove herself to the tribe, she finds herself pitted against a skilled hunter from another world eager to conquer the strongest prey in its path. Prey is an absolute crowd pleaser, doubling as one of the best action films of the year while managing to make this scaled back take on the Yautja scary again (that redesigned face reveal will widen your eyes). A wonderful stand-alone edition to this fan favorite series, with a dash of fanservice sprinkled in with a bittersweet connection to the larger story.

8
Hellraiser

Folks, after being strung along by Dimension Films for decades, we finally have the best Hellraiser since Barker’s original. A young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon a new order of Cenobites, and the being they serve. A parable of excess and hedonism, delving into the prison one makes for themself in the quest for pleasure. The Cenobites have never looked better, with revoltingly beautiful redesigns to our favorites as well some nasty new characters that McFarlane Toys will have a field day selling. A gloriously grizzly and geometrically framed remake from David Bruckner, that pays tribute to the early entries while carving a path for a future similar to the series’ short tenure at New World.

7
​A Wounded Fawn

The last surprise of the year, Travis Stevens’ A Wounded Fawn swoops in as one of a few throwbacks to the 1970’s that made it on the list. A charming serial killer woos a recently single museum curator to his romantic getaway cabin with obvious intentions. Just when you think you know exactly where it's going, it hard resets and we're left with a serial killer alone with his warped thoughts. Modern Giallo at its finest, with classic Kodak film stock bringing out every shade of red when the blood starts spraying. It does a 180 from cat and mouse to psychological horror, throwing every insane idea it can think of at the screen until credits, and heads, roll. Like a great piece of art, this is worthy of discovery.

6
The Black Phone

Scott Derrickson’s triumphant return to horror with this gripping adaptation of Joe Hill’s 2004 short story. Following his kidnapping by a deranged serial killer, a young teenager receives calls from the previous victims through a mysterious phone in his captor’s basement. The Black Phone features some of the best child acting of the year, and an absolutely chilling performance from Ethan Hawke, who despite not being a fan of the genre continues to become a welcome mainstay. It’s a tense, gripping supernatural crime thriller and a crowd-pleasing 1970’s throwback that’ll have you cheering at the screen by the end.

5
Hatching

From across the seas in Finland comes this year’s most effective body horror film. When a young girl brings home a mysterious egg, it hatches into a grotesque creature that imprints on her, acting on the repressed emotions she holds towards her influencer mother. Striking that right balance of beauty and disgust, Hanna Bergholm’s Hatching offers one of the most effective monster designs in Alli. And as much as you’ll be retching at this monster’s actions, you’ll still be more revolted at the choices of the mother, who views her family as tools for her following. One of the most effective horror films about the age of social media.

4
Nope

Jordan Peele’s hat-trick film, Nope is a first of its kind genre hybrid of blockbuster proportions - complete with the IMAX 65mm film treatment. Following the unexplained death of their father, a horse trainer and his sister discover a UFO and devise a plan to capture it on film with the help of an over-enthusiastic tech salesman, and a jaded documentary filmmaker. Hidden beneath that simple premise is a layered rollercoaster of a film about erasure, the cost of spectacle, and literal cloud chasing. Plus, who else but Peele could make a film about a man named OJ, who rides a bronco, and we want him to get away at the end? I see what you did there.

3
Terrifier 2

You know a horror film is effective when audiences require emergency services. Following his unexplained rise from the dead, the demonic Art the Clown returns to stalk a brother and sister during his next Halloween massacre. Damien Leone’s Terrifier 2 is arguably the most ambitious slasher sequel of the last decade, and Art the Clown is on the rise to the top of the slasher pantheon. Along for the ride, is the previous film’s traumatized final girl and the introduction of The Little Pale Girl, Art’s demented side-kick. Terrifier 2 is hands down the goriest film of the year, and with it’s over two-hour runtime, it doesn’t waste a second. With Leone promising 3 and a potential 4, the nightmare isn’t ending anytime soon.

2
Barbarian

The most surprising major studio release of the year, Zach Cregger’s Barbarian is an unpredictable thrill ride. After a double-booking at an Airbnb in a decrepit side of Detroit, a woman unearths a hidden network beneath the property, discovering truth far more horrifying than her unexpected roommate. Ambitiously converging multiple stories, Barbarian is a thrill ride into the depths of depravity and predation; being equal parts sickening, humorous, and subversive. All this, while crafting a unique and memorable monster as terrifying as she is sympathetic. A true horror classic in the making.

1
​X
and
Pearl

Yup, it’s a tie. Ti West makes his surprise return to film after his stint in TV purgatory with a double feature that proves he hasn’t missed a beat. X is a welcome throwback to 70’s slashers, following a group of amateur filmmakers making a stag film on a rural Texas farm, leading to their elderly hosts exacting violent and spiteful revenge. That could be all fine and good but West surprised everyone with an already complete prequel film, Pearl, that follows our main killer in her youth during the late 1910’s.

Both films complement each other’s story perfectly, but can each be viewed as stand-alone films in either order. In one year, West managed to release two slashers that cover the themes of agism, the price of fame, life during war, life during a plague, and the joys of cinema escapism itself. It’s also a bloody good time with great kills and an alligator. Whether it’s Grindhouse or Technicolor, this is the beginning of a series we’re going to be paying attention to for years to come.

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Author

Alex Ayres is filmmaker and writer based in Atlanta, GA. An avid genre fan overall, he started his love of horror at age 13, with a double feature of Children of the Corn and Halloween diving head first down the rabbit hole and has not looked back since. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in film and creative writing, Alex has a steady background in screenwriting, having written multiple short and feature screenplays. His screenplays, Archfiend and 6/09 have been accepted into various film festivals and writing competitions around the country, the latter winning best comedy at the Austin After Dark Film Fest in 2019. His recent short screenplay Gallows Meg is currently making rounds in the festival circuit.

​When not hunched over at his laptop on his third cup of coffee, Alex works as a non-union set worker on various productions in Atlanta, primarily as a Set PA and Health &amp; Safety monitor. In time, Alex will pursue his Master’s in screenwriting. Making film and teaching film is a life-long goal that he’s going the distance with. Alex has been a member of the HorrOrigins family since its inaugural film festival, curating a gruesome and fun time for Fright-Knights and Ghouls.

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<![CDATA[Top 5 Scary Christmas Episodes {HorrOrigins List}]]>Thu, 22 Dec 2022 17:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/top-5-scary-christmas-episodes-horrorigins-list
A haunted, happy holiday from us at HorrOrigins. Another crazy year is coming to a close, and the season of giving is upon us. Last year, I ranked a list of the Top 10 Christmas Horror Films; this year, we’ll take a look at something just as common. There’s almost always a Christmas episode with every popular show, and you can probably imagine that one episode of a family sitcom, where everything comes together in the end. Yeah, that’s not always the case when it comes to horror stories. Just ask Dickens; the most famous Christmas tale is a scary story down to its core. Sometimes, it’s important to learn the lessons of the season the hard way. From anthologies old and new, it’s the most wonderful time for fear. If you’re looking for something new before you re-watch the “Christmas Party” episode of The Office, consider these entries.

Honorable Mention

Squidbillies
​"Rebel with a Clause"

In the season 2 finale of the long-running [Adult Swim] cartoon, it’s Christmas Eve and a grouchy, out of shape Santa is ready for his one night of hard work to be over. Stopping for milk & cookies, Santa falls into a trap laid out by Early Cuyler, the psychotic patriarch of the titular family of “mud squids.” From there, Santa is tied, beaten, and has his beard shaved off with a fish scaler (all while the reindeer are fed through a jerky smoker). Why? Because Early has only ever wanted one thing from Santa...“the still beating heart of Dale Earnhardt Jr." Obviously unable to reason with his impractical request, Santa’s situation becomes grimmer by the minute, leading the elves to take drastic measures to free their leader. The episode delivers more depravity than usual for the show and is a perfect time capsule for the mean spirits of the time. Just when you think a Christmas miracle will save the day, a bloodbath has other plans.


5​

Love, Death, & Robots
"All Through the House"

In Netflix’s mature animated anthology, this quick serving tells the tale of a brother and sister on Christmas Eve who hear a creature stirring in the middle of the night. Believing it to be the jolly fat man, they sneak down and discover Santa is a grotesque, drooling monster. Cornered, the Santa creature smells the quivering children. Deeming they’ve been “Nice” this year, it regurgitates the presents they wanted. Upon leaving, the children return to bed, unable to stomach the thought of what would have happened if they had been naughty. Despite its Eldridge horror twist, "All Through the House" is a surprisingly innocent parable compared to other Heavy Metal-esque offerings (and one of the shortest at 7 minutes). Probably the only episode you can show your kids if they’re misbehaving.


4

Tales from the Darkside
"Seasons of Belief"

The late George A. Romero’s often overlooked and underrated anthology horror series that reset the blueprint for the horror anthology format. From season 3 comes "Seasons of Belief"the only direct holiday episode of Tales from the Dark Side. It’s Christmas Eve and bratty siblings Stefa and Jimbo are going through that age where they question their belief in Santa Clause. Getting an idea, their parents decide to read them a bedtime story about the "Grither," a bloodthirsty monster that lives at the North Pole that is summoned by saying its name (growing bigger the more the name is uttered). Definitely tame, compared to the others on the list, the episode finds its strength in capturing the fear that comes with childhood, where your imagination runs wild with any vague superstition. Interestingly it was the only directorial project of the late Michael McDowell, a writer throughout the show’s four seasons who went on to co-write Beetlejuice and more fittingly, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

3

Guillermo Del Toro’s
Cabinet of Curiosities
​"The Outside"

The most recent entry on this list comes courtesy of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’s Ana Lily Amirpour, as one of eight directors handpicked by Guillermo Del Toro. Stacey (Kate Micucci), an introverted bank teller struggling with image issues compared to her catty co-workers, is gifted a high-end lotion at a Secret Santa party. Despondent, she tries the lotion and immediately breaks out into a rash. Ignoring the concern of her husband and falling under the hypnosis of an infomercial, she buys a whole case of the lotion and the rash persists. A Christmas body horror tale where the holiday element is downplayed. Micucci hones her trademark quirkiness in this allegory for insecurities and metamorphosis. Tying this early present together is some impressively unnerving camerawork, making "The Outside" a highlight of a promising new series.

2

Tales from the Crypt
"And All Through the House"

Not to be confused with a previous entry, arguably one of the best episodes from Tales from the Crypt, and it's only episode 2. It’s Christmas Eve and Elizabeth (Mary Ellen Trainor) is being prowled on by an escaped maniac dressed as Santa (Larry Drake). She could call the cops; however, she only just killed her husband for his money and his body is lying outside in the snow. The first of three episodes directed by Robert Zemeckis, making this his horror debut. Zemeckis injects energy through his impressive long takes and blocking expected from his early films, and combined with Alan Silvestri’s playful score, adds a dark dose of fun to this sinister situation. The late Larry Drake shines as the Santa, bug eyes with rotten teeth making him feel like a demented cartoon (makes you wish Dr. Giggles was in a Silent Night, Deadly Night sequel). Definitely not the first killer Santa, but definitely a benchmark for this type of episode. We may not have Ian McShane’s character in American Horror Story: Asylum without this.

1

Black Mirror
"White Christmas"

There’s a few BBC shows that like to end their runs officially with a Christmas episode, and prior to Netflix picking up the series, this seemed like the case for Charlie Booker’s Twilight Zone for the internet age. Condensing basically a season into a feature length episode, "White Christmas" follows three interconnected stories shared by Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall, while stuck in a cabin seemingly stuck in an endless winter. Sticking with the themes of our relationships with new technologies, we’re shown POV dating coaches, consciences trapped as Alexa-like personal assistants, and the ability to block people IRL. Each story peels back a layer that reveals more about our unreliable leads, until you’re left wondering which one of them is worse. The Christmas setting downplays itself through, until it blindsides you with a gut punch at the end that’ll leave you staring at your reflection as the credits roll. A truly bittersweet ending that’ll make you look in the mirror and be thankful to not take the relationships you have for granted.

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Author

Alex Ayres is filmmaker and writer based in Atlanta, GA. An avid genre fan overall, he started his love of horror at age 13, with a double feature of Children of the Corn and Halloween diving head first down the rabbit hole and has not looked back since. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in film and creative writing, Alex has a steady background in screenwriting, having written multiple short and feature screenplays. His screenplays, Archfiend and 6/09 have been accepted into various film festivals and writing competitions around the country, the latter winning best comedy at the Austin After Dark Film Fest in 2019. His recent short screenplay Gallows Meg is currently making rounds in the festival circuit.

​When not hunched over at his laptop on his third cup of coffee, Alex works as a non-union set worker on various productions in Atlanta, primarily as a Set PA and Health &amp; Safety monitor. In time, Alex will pursue his Master’s in screenwriting. Making film and teaching film is a life-long goal that he’s going the distance with. Alex has been a member of the HorrOrigins family since its inaugural film festival, curating a gruesome and fun time for Fright-Knights and Ghouls.

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<![CDATA['Legions': The Most Innovative Demon Movie In Years {Fantasia Festival Movie Review}]]>Fri, 09 Dec 2022 08:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/legions-the-most-innovative-demon-movie-in-years-fantasia-festival-movie-review
We’re all familiar with exorcism movies. Whether it’s the head-turning anguish of The Exorcist or the fun of its many spiritual sequels, horror fans have been entertained by them for decades and the idea of possession has been woven into tales for centuries. The truth is, with so many stories in this vein, the subgenre often feels bloated but fear not; a new and clever film has proven there’s still life in tales of the demonic. Legions was the best surprise of Fantasia Fest because it embraced the ridiculousness with open arms and had an undeniable heart. 
We begin the story with Antonio, an Argentinian that travels the jungle helping villagers battle demonic spirits wherever he finds them because he supposedly comes from a line of "sacred men" adept at fighting evil in the world. After his wife is killed, he tries to protect his daughter Helena from the demon Kuraya that is determined to end his lineage. Helena grows to resent him and civilized society sees him as a madman so he’s put in a mental asylum. Much of this is revealed in flashbacks and narration from Germán De Silva as the oldest version of Antonio and his performance can’t be understated.  He brings gravitas and a quiet grace to the role that is essential, joining the likes of Max von Sydow and Patrick Wilson as the most competent demon fighters put to screen.  
 

De Silva is exceptional and the script gives him the support he requires. He sits quietly in the theater as patients act out a script from his own life, many eagerly inquiring as to whether the stories are true or not, but their enthusiasm clearly troubles him. I wonder how one patient keeps getting his costume somehow despite the orderlies restraining him multiple times. Antonio is reluctant to share, but when he does, he’s revealing details to his fellow patients as well as us as an intrigued audience.  He’s solemn and more concerned for his now adult daughter played by Lorena Vega who lives in the city and works at a corporate office where she’s struggling to develop catchy slogans.  As Antonio plots his escape from the asylum, he treats voodoo rituals with sincerity that is admired even as the spells he’s casting illicit laughs because of how much fun they are.  You do pity the poor guard that is…let’s say bent out of shape by Antonio’s magic but that’s intentional.  Dark humor is used throughout the film with excellent timing and context.
Director Fabian Forte knows how to draw us into a world that would otherwise be ridiculous.  He builds his world with clawed fingers and a blood red moon, but the focus is on a father desperate to protect his daughter at all cost while trying to adjust to a world that has moved into a more technological age.  When he appears before her in her office building, the wide room accentuates the years and distance lost between them that can’t be recovered.  You can feel the complexities in these performances that counter the bluntness of the supporting cast.  In a story where the magic often comes across as quirky, the emotional weight still bleeds through.  It’s a tough balance and when the demon takes a new form in the finale, there will be debate.  Some will be in the mood for quick shots and makeup effects resembling The Evil Dead and some will not.  Regardless, this is a fun film with satisfying payoffs.  When skeptics begin running through the hospital in the climax, I began chuckling. The storytelling is decisively old-school with story beats that are direct and to the point .  I have no real complaints, though I believe a little more time could’ve been spent on the finale.  However, this could just be the same habit I always get in when watching quality films; not wanting them to end.

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Author

Davis Clark has been a horror fan since he was a little kid and watched Scream and Jaws for the first time. He graduated with a degree in theatre education and a Georgia Film Academy Certificate from Columbus State University and is known for his huge film collection and a passion for the industry. He’s written film reviews for college papers, worked as a PA, short film writer, and actor and can’t wait to do more with the HorrOrigins team! He’ll soon be appearing in the short film Wild HR which will be shown at the OutlantaCon Short Film Festival and can be found getting stalked by Ghostface in the YouTube video Return To Woodsboro.

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<![CDATA[4 Must-See Horror Films That Feature Poker and Casinos]]>Wed, 07 Dec 2022 17:54:10 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/4-must-see-horror-films-that-feature-poker-and-casinos
Casinos and gambling have long existed, but their popularity remains at an all-time high. In 2021, casinos and mobile gambling apps raked in $53 million in revenue, and those numbers may continue to rise in the coming years. Considering the glitz and glam associated with them now, it may seem unlikely for horror to stem from something like a poker game.

​However, the history of poker in the US begs to differ. Most accounts agree that poker made its way to America thanks to European immigrants, gaining mainstream popularity in the 19th century as the game made its way through small-town saloons and on Mississippi River boats. Poker and its players gained notoriety for cheating, where high-stakes games often lead to threats, violence, and even suicide attempts. Card game players often felt fear or dread, knowing what they put on the line — and makes for ripe source material in horror films. Listed here are a few horror flicks featuring poker and casinos:

Remains

​Post-apocalyptic horror movies aren’t anything new, but this, in particular, is set in a casino in Reno. During an event meant to eliminate the entire world’s nuclear weapon supply, an accident causes a blast that turns most of the human population into zombies except for a few, including some casino employees. The survivors band together in search of an escape but are met with violence and tragedy along the way.

​The Haunted Casino

As the title suggests, the film revolves around a haunted casino located on the outskirts of Las Vegas. After Matthew Dragna inherits the property from his uncle, he and his friends decide to check it out one night. They soon discover that the casino is haunted by the ghosts of dead mobsters from the 1940s looking to settle scores with the descendants of former owners. The friends have to play for their lives, and to make it out alive, they need to win. This film features games like poker and slots, taking advantage of suspense to add to the horror factor. The film is also known as Dead Man’s Hand, which is poker slang for a bad hand. A dead man's hand consists of the black aces and the black eights, which were allegedly the cards Wild Bill Hicock had in his hand when he was murdered.

Leprechaun 3

Leprechauns and their search for their gold have long been used as casino symbols and imagery, so setting the third movie of the Leprechaun franchise in one such casino is very fitting. This slasher film is set in the streets of Las Vegas, following a group of people who try to find the Leprechaun’s wish-granting gold coin with the hopes of making their dreams come true. However, these wishes for fame, riches, and beauty come with a hefty price: their lives.

​Funny Man

In this British comedy-horror flick, protagonist Max Taylor wins an unusual prize in a poker game: Callum Chance’s ancestral home. Ignoring the warnings, Taylor and his family move in almost immediately. He spins a wheel in the house, which awakens a creature known as the Funny Man, who had been living in the soil of their new home. As the Funny Man directly addresses the audience, the family members are killed off in gruesome and imaginative ways. When a group of hitchhikers led by Max’s brother John finds their way into the mansion, the scenes only get more bizarre.

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Brandon Waites served in the U.S. Air Force and had the opportunity to deploy Iraq and Pakistan. After his service, he earned his bachelor's degree in Business and earned his MA in Film & Television with a concentration in producing. He interned under Benderspink for Hollywood producers Chris Bender and J.C. Spink.  After his internship, Brandon co-founded multiple companies for networking and contests for screenwriters and filmmakers. His love for horror drove him to begin HorrOrigins as a film festival in 2019. In response to the positive response of HorrOrigins, Brandon decided to expand HorrOrigins into multiple ventures to benefit the independent horror screenwriters and filmmakers.

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<![CDATA['Dark Glasses': Argento’s Blind, Ambitious Return {Movie Review}]]>Sun, 04 Dec 2022 08:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/dark-glasses-argentos-blind-ambitious-return-movie-review
It’s been a while since we talked about Dario Argento, hasn’t it? Italy’s “Master of Horror” has had an undeniably influential career that cannot be matched. Aside from bringing Giallo to American audiences, he’s haunted us with zombies, witches, and demons (oh my!). His career was strong for decades, but when everyone’s favorite director hits a slump in their later years, Argento fell off a summit and seemed to try and fail to take off again like a bird with a broken wing. It’s common knowledge among horror fans that The Stendhal Syndrome is the last great Argento film (The Card Player is debatable), while the rest lack a percentage of the effort he put in up to that point. My theory is the loss of rival horror master, Lucio Fulci, left him without reason to push forward and he was just keen to coast. His last film could have been 2012’s Dracula 3D, which at least has the visual look of a 90’s FMV game to keep it interesting. There was that Iggy Pop, Sandman based film seemed to rob its Kickstarter backers, but we’ll turn a blind eye to that in order to segway into his first completed feature in almost a decade: Dark Glasses. Has the time away from the director's seat brought back that style and energy, or is this the final nail in the career coffin?
Following a bad encounter with a potential client, high-class lady of the night Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli) is targeted by “The Cellist” a prostitute killing maniac in a white van. A car chase ensues that leads to Diana t-boning a Chinese family at an intersection, leaving her blinded and the family’s son Chin (Xinyu Zhang) orphaned. Racked with guilt, Diana takes Chin under her wing as she adjusts her lifestyle to the changes her disability brings. But we wouldn’t have a movie if the killer just moved on, and The Cellist is more determined than ever to finish Diana off, regardless of who else gets in the way.

Let’s get the positives out of the way first. Black Strobe’s Arnaud Rebotini provides one of the best Argento scores in years. It’s not Goblin, but that first track will bring a smile to your face that’ll take you back to a simpler time, where an Italian score was inappropriately upbeat and made you jazzed for the gratuitous violence to follow. If anything, this is an advertisement to buy the soundtrack on whichever platform it's available on. This is also the first time Argento has filmed a car chase since the 70’s, shot well by Matteo Cocco. And you better like vehicular homicide, because this film definitely spoils you with it. 

The first death scene definitely lures you in with the idea that you’re going to witness the over-the-top deaths we long for, but by the middle of the movie they become inconsistent, clumsy, and stale. After the inciting incident, the film dries out until around the halfway point where the film remembers it’s a horror film and introduces two new characters just to kill them off in the next scene. And one of the deaths will suddenly make you appreciate the “car door” kill in Halloween Kills. These kills are pretty uninspired, especially when the killer’s MO is supposedly strangling woman with cello wire. You’re better off watching that one episode of Hannibal for a better string instrument inspired killer. You’d also think he’d maybe want to change vehicles after he’s captured on security cameras, but hey, cars are expensive. I have to admire the Cellist’s taste in movies though since he’s watched Maniac 2012 for inspiration.
As far as casting goes, you have to take performances with a grain of salt as directing actors was never Argento’s top priority. Ilenia Pastorelli is giving it her all as Diana, resourceful and able to handle herself at first, before playing a convincingly helpless woman adjusting to the disability that has been thrust upon her. You can definitely tell this is Xinyu Zhang’s first role. Any initial sympathy you feel for his character is gone out the window as soon as he opens his mouth. Yup, he’s a kid in a horror film alright and he’s as annoying as that sounds. And since this is an Argento film, his daughter Asia has a supporting role as Diana’s new social worker. Since this film has been in development hell for two decades, you can tell this role was initially written for her and this new role is expanded just to give her something to work with. 

Dark Glasses is definitely a missed opportunity for what could have been a good return to form for the master of Giallo. Visually, it’s on par with The Mother of Tears. With lackluster kills and basic set design, this looks like a film that could have been made by any director, and is only getting traction from the name attached. Argento could have unofficially remade 1967’s Wait Until Dark, and it would have made for a much more interesting take. Even in some of Argento’s lesser outputs, there’s at least something tangibly memorable, something out of left field. I’ll give it this positive, Dark Glasses does redeem the treatment of the blind pianist, Daniel, in Suspiria. Sadly, this may be the end of an era for Argento that goes out with a whimper. 

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Author

Alex Ayres is filmmaker and writer based in Atlanta, GA. An avid genre fan overall, he started his love of horror at age 13, with a double feature of Children of the Corn and Halloween diving head first down the rabbit hole and has not looked back since. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in film and creative writing, Alex has a steady background in screenwriting, having written multiple short and feature screenplays. His screenplays, Archfiend and 6/09 have been accepted into various film festivals and writing competitions around the country, the latter winning best comedy at the Austin After Dark Film Fest in 2019. His recent short screenplay Gallows Meg is currently making rounds in the festival circuit.

When not hunched over at his laptop on his third cup of coffee, Alex works as a non-union set worker on various productions in Atlanta, primarily as a Set PA and Health &amp; Safety monitor. In time, Alex will pursue his Master’s in screenwriting. Making film and teaching film is a life-long goal that he’s going the distance with. Alex has been a member of the HorrOrigins family since its inaugural film festival, curating a gruesome and fun time for Fright-Knights and Ghouls.

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<![CDATA['The Harbinger': Modern Nightmares {Movie Review}]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2022 17:26:11 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/the-harbinger-modern-nightmares-movie-review
For all the modern anxieties that permeate the surface of Andy Mitton’s THE HARBINGER, it’s the image of one hand grasping another that sticks in my mind. THE HARBINGER has got a lot on its mind: the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation’s effect on mental health, and the horrifying implications of endangering those you love. It’s all heavy stuff, and could easily become overwhelming. It’s the humanism at the center of the film that keeps that from happening.
Monique (Gabby Beans) has gone to stay with an old friend, Mavis (Emily Davis). It’s the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while Monique’s family is isolating, something in Mavis’ voice calls to Monique. When she arrives, she finds that her friend is in the throes of a mental health crisis. This crisis opens up into something much more sinister, as Monique realizes that it is not the only thing haunting Mavis. Soon, anxieties and a supernatural creature start to blur into the real world. 

With those anxieties so upfront and center, there’s a danger that THE HARBINGER could feel heavy-handed. A few recent horror movies could not help but slip into being more metaphors than they were horror films. There’s also the opposite issue, the danger of using the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental health crisis as window dressing. There’s a delicate balance between allegory, and pure storytelling that films like BARBARIAN or SMILE could not manage to quite make. THE HARBINGER does, and it’s largely because of the film’s focus on naturalism and human moments. 

That naturalism is highlighted early in the film, as Mitton’s direction and writing allows Monique’s family to simply have human conversations about nothing. There’s an adage that every single line of dialogue should have some sort of major purpose in a film, but following that line to its logical conclusion can mean only addressing metaphor. The simple humanism of watching a family reminisce about the time before the pandemic goes a long way to endearing us to Monique. The handheld camerawork in this warmer sequence also contrasts the smoother, steadier, camerawork that wraps its way around the scarier sequences. 
As for those scarier sequences, the result is nerve-shredding. Something that both SMILE and THE HARBINGER embrace this year is the idea of not reinventing the wheel, just perfecting it. The score and edit (both also done by Mitton) are terrifyingly placed. The horror imagery here is calculated too. The image of the back of a truck containing a lone figure surrounded by body bags has a strange richness to it. When that figure moves, the movement seems studied. The audience has seen jump scares like this before, but there is something to say for good craft.

The other reason why I keep bringing up SMILE in relation to THE HARBINGER is the contrast in how they attack the metaphor of mental health. The approach in SMILE is effective, but close to problematic in what it has to say about how mental health is transferred among people. THE HARBINGER avoids almost all of those pitfalls. Early monologues from both Monique and Mavis clearly illuminate some deep personal understanding of the way the pandemic has impacted their mental health. They feel honest and authentic. That honesty and authenticity bleeds into the rest of the movie, and infuses the rest with a deeply felt sense of purpose. 

It is that deeply felt sense of purpose that brings us back around to the image of one person holding another person’s hand. The waking nightmare that is depicted in THE HARBINGER is part false, and part true. COVID anxieties still float around us. Mental health crises continue day by day. The harbinger of whatever is bound to show up. At least we can hold onto each other, and make it through together. 
    

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Stephen Tronicek is a director/screenwriter focused on psychological horror and comedy. He grew up and is based in St. Louis. Stephen discovered film at a young age and became a professional film critic in his junior year of high school. This eventually led him to write screenplays and make short films. His horror screenplay, "Pieces" was a quarter-finalist in the Launch Million Dollar Screenplay Competition. Focuses include character-driven stories, violence as an extension of the psyche and seeing how much emotionally resonant story material you can get away with if you stick to the theme.

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<![CDATA['Beast': Long Live A Fun Lion {Movie Review}]]>Wed, 02 Nov 2022 07:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/beast-long-live-a-fun-lion-movie-review
Wonderfully executed and engaging, Beast is an example of the creature feature flick done right. There were a few gasps from my sparse opening night showing back in August but I feel that it’s my duty as a critic to do my part in rectifying the lack of attention and say this is a film worth seeing in the theater. It’s more fun than it has any right to be and is a throwback to the golden age of movies about vicious animals without feeling too much like a carbon copy. 
Following the death of his ex wife, Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) decides to take his two daughters to Africa to visit their mother’s homeland and learn more about her from a wildlife preservationist named Martin (Sharlto Copley). The normal boxes are ticked with the girls being informed that cell service is a gamble at best and a peaceful day of photographing wildlife turns into a nightmare when they run across a village riddled with bodies.  A lion of considerable size is prowling nearby, killing everything it sees and as one of the daughters sports a Jurassic Park T-shirt, we aren’t surprised when their vehicle is disabled.  

Director Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns) quickly establishes that he knows what he’s doing behind the camera along with his DPs.  There’s many one-shots of overlapping dialogue and instances of fright when the lion appears that feel logical.  The geography for different scenes is established and then utilized with the characters often choosing between the claustrophobia of a car or the threat of getting caught in the open.  I can already hear the videos analyzing the lion for legit CGI or not but honestly, I couldn’t find much to fault with it.  It doesn’t operate much different from other animal antagonists that seem to withstand pain or avoid bullets it doesn’t even know to dodge but nevermind that. 
I’ve heard that Idris Elba’s own daughter wasn’t cast due to onscreen chemistry but honestly Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries are engaging as sisters with different personalities and levels of trust with their father.  Elba doesn’t shrug off his responsibilities as the leading man and is fully committed with another great performance, inexperienced in the environment, but focused under pressure.  I also appreciate that Copley is given time to breathe as a secondary character in a genre where good-natured guides are often quickly dispatched.His affection and respect for the animals is touching and fans of nature will appreciate this movie's approach.  
When Jaws came out, there were some that thought all sharks needed to be hunted down so they could feel safer in the water.  Not only is this foolish and wrong, but using a thriller as justification for extermination  is ridiculous, especially when the film establishes that most sharks aren’t waiting to eat humans over seals or fish off the coast of Amity.  Beast shares this thought and adds to it as a group of poachers are on the menu and we are shown other lions throughout the film that sit peacefully on the rocks of their territory with nary a care in the world.  The fact is that nature can be terrifying, and the vicious lion at the center of this film is used to create powerful moments of tension.
I’ll admit, the opening scene doesn’t have the sort of power I’d like out of a horror picture and the story beats aren’t really new, but that’s fine with me as they are used well with respect and shot with a keen eye.  Characters make dumb decisions and no doubt a few older audience members will roll their eyes.  But hey, those same grouchy types consider Jurassic Park to be the gold standard and you can’t tell me that characters in that movie didn’t make dumb decisions.  That’s part of the fun.  And I’ll say this, Beast is a fun ride with committed performances. 

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Davis Clark has been a horror fan since he was a little kid and watched Scream and Jaws for the first time. He graduated with a degree in theatre education and a Georgia Film Academy Certificate from Columbus State University and is known for his huge film collection and a passion for the industry. He’s written film reviews for college papers, worked as a PA, short film writer, and actor and can’t wait to do more with the HorrOrigins team! He’ll soon be appearing in the short film Wild HR which will be shown at the OutlantaCon Short Film Festival and can be found getting stalked by Ghostface in the YouTube video Return To Woodsboro.

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<![CDATA['Sinister' vs 'The Black Phone': Two Sides, Same Coin]]>Mon, 31 Oct 2022 07:00:00 GMThttp://horrorigins.com/articles/sinister-vs-the-black-phone-two-sides-same-coin
Happy Halloween from HorrOrigins, and have we got a real treat for you. Though it seemed like we lost him to Marvel for a while, Scott Derrickson is back in the horror game with The Black Phone. Currently, his highest rated film in the genre, The Black Phone marks a new evolution to Derrickson’s trademark storytelling style of combining the crime thriller with a supernatural edge, something that dates all the way back to the beginning with Hellraiser: Inferno (yeah, remember that one?). Back along for the ride as well is C. Robert Cargill, Derrickson’s prime writing partner for the last decade. He’s someone who got his start writing reviews and articles online, which proves there’s hope for me yet. This is a partnership that was solidified in 2012 with Blumhouse’s small scale hit, Sinister. Once a golden child for the studio, Sinister is not talked about much now. But I haven’t forgotten, and well, it’s officially its 10-year anniversary. Which means it’s a perfect time to re-visit and discuss the parallels with its welcome spiritual successor (pun always intended). 
Obviously, both films are a great treat for fans of Ethan Hawke, because under Derrickson he’s able to flex his talents as both protagonist and antagonist. Definitely not the hero in Sinister, but his complicated crime novelist character, Ellison Oswalt, is understandable (no writer wants to go back to normal life). On the other side is The Black Phone’s Grabber, a child killer with a flair for vaudeville theatrics, and just enough backstory to still keep him mysterious. Hawke definitely has plenty to work with: Oswalt remains stoic and determined as he willingly plunges further into a nightmare, whereas, the Grabber is like an unhinged child ready to pull the wings off a fly. And this comes through even though his face is hidden behind the various masks (you know Spirit Halloween is going to have field day selling these). For a guy who doesn’t like horror films, Hawke has definitely been building a reel of entries over the last decade. 

Though they do come off as polar opposites, they also have interesting similarities. They’re both guilty of luring some innocent children to an untimely demise. And both have similar tastes in one story brick homes, that come complete with a hanging tree. Of course, in Sinister, where the plot kicks in is in the attic, while it’s the basement in The Black Phone. The moral of the story is, don’t move into a house with either. Move into a mobile home, nothing bad seems to happen there. 
Another treat for all film stock purists in the audience is that both films implement Super 8 footage to varying effect. The Black Phone cleverly incorporates the vintage stocks for one of its main character’s prophetic dream sequences while staying true to its 70’s setting. This is a welcome style change that allows glimpses into characters who make an impact, in spite of their minimal screen presence. Sinister’s Super 8, though, is its driving force as Oswalt discovers reels of various murders and unknowingly invites a cursed cycle to continue. Derrickson is able to use the format in both to create a false sense of warmth, showing happy memories of the children with their families, before abruptly yanking the rug out to the tragic truth. 

But it’s not all gloom and doom in either film as comic relief is provided by James Ransone. Fans of The Wire rejoice as Ziggy Sobotka is getting work and gets to steal a few scenes from the lead. Whether it's Sinister’s Deputy So & So who gets to fanboy over meeting a famous writer, or The Black Phone’s armchair detective, Max, who just wants be involved, Ransone’s awkward mannerisms bring an all too human charm. He doesn’t feel like a character in either movie, he feels like a real person. Hell, Ransone basically has a dry run of Max when he reprises So & So for 2015’s Sinister 2, with a similar obsession wall trying to price together connections. It’s kind of like what I’m doing with this article. 

And if there’s one small, but major, element that links these two, it’s the handful of ghost kids. Sinister’s children of Bughuul are pretty downplayed, showing up toward the third act for a jump-scare, unseen by Oswalt, but letting the audience know that the house is no longer safe. The Grabber’s victims however, definitely take on a more proactive role as shown in the trailer. Five kids trapped in a purgatory like state, where potentially some make it farther than others. And similar to Sinisteronly the audience can see the ghost children pulling the strings as they assist the young protagonist, Finny, against his captor. Interestingly, in both films, Derrickson and Cargill have the kids in groups of five.
Both films side by side show that Derrickson and Cargill have improved on a winning formula for small-scale, mainstream horror. They clearly have a love and respect for 1970’s horror (my favorite decade as well) and it shows. Both films stand strong without having to rely on explicit gore, but cleverly tricking you into thinking you saw more than you did. 

If this were a competition, The Black Phone takes the win. Sinister is a film that literally finds its strength from rediscovery.  For The Black Phone, we can all get behind of coming-of-age story, looking back a time where your small seemed as big the world could be and a time where “Stranger Danger” and the kids at school were all you had to worry about. But it finds its strength by focusing on the dark side of childhood, where some children are forced to grow up fast due to circumstance, some children are robbed of the opportunity to grow up, and the horror that comes when an adult hasn’t let go of being a child.

But, in a competition with yourself, there can only be one winner. Perhaps far off in 2032, we’ll get a spiritual third film, making this a Derrickson/Cargill trilogy that reunites the recurring players one more time. A happy Halloween from me to all of you. Stay safe and spooky, and always check your candy.

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Author

Alex Ayres is filmmaker and writer based in Atlanta, GA. An avid genre fan overall, he started his love of horror at age 13, with a double feature of Children of the Corn and Halloween diving head first down the rabbit hole and has not looked back since. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in film and creative writing, Alex has a steady background in screenwriting, having written multiple short and feature screenplays. His screenplays, Archfiend and 6/09 have been accepted into various film festivals and writing competitions around the country, the latter winning best comedy at the Austin After Dark Film Fest in 2019.

​His recent short screenplay Gallows Meg is currently making rounds in the festival circuit. When not hunched over at his laptop on his third cup of coffee, Alex works as a non-union set worker on various productions in Atlanta, primarily as a Set PA and Health &amp; Safety monitor. In time, Alex will pursue his Master’s in screenwriting. Making film and teaching film is a life-long goal that he’s going the distance with. Alex has been a member of the HorrOrigins family since its inaugural film festival, curating a gruesome and fun time for Fright-Knights and Ghouls.

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