SHORT: Latest ‘Scary Endings’ anthology entry, ‘Am I Beautiful?’ (2017), based on Japanese legend

SHORT: Latest ‘Scary Endings’ anthology entry, ‘Am I Beautiful?’ (2017), based on Japanese legend

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Online horror anthology series Scary Endings offers up another serving of short-form terror, Am I Beautiful?. This time around, writer/director John Fitzpatrick (Skypemare) and the Scary Endings team look to an ancient Japanese ghost story, Kuchisake-onna (‘Slit-Mouthed Woman’), for their inspiration:

May (Sarah Scott) and Zach (Abraham Martinez) are moving into their new home unbeknownst to the evil spirit haunting their bathroom mirror – the Slit-Mouthed Woman (Belinda Gosbee). She’ll ask you a question; answer correctly and she’ll spare your life but at a cost…

Interestingly, this episode is the first to be shot entirely on iPhone. To our eyes, cinematographer Nicholas Kaat‘s work looks professional as always, which speaks volumes about the potential quality of current smartphone videography. This should serve as a huge encouragement to all you budding horror filmmakers out there!


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Eagerly anticipated first trailer for Stephen King’s ‘IT’ finally drops, in all its bone-chilling glory

Eagerly anticipated first trailer for Stephen King’s ‘IT’ finally drops, in all its bone-chilling glory

TAGLINE FOR IT: “You’ll float too.”

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: The film version of Stephen King’s beloved novel is directed by Andrés Muschietti, who did a fine job on 2013’s haunting MamaBill Skarsgård stars as Pennywise the sadistic, centuries-old clown – a role immortalized by Tim Curry in the 1990 TV miniseries. Especially intriguing is a credit for Javier Botet as “The Leper.” Botet towers over six and a half feet tall, with a singular skill for impossibly contorted figures. Muschietti exploited this skill to great advantage when Botet played the titular spirit in Mama. You may also know his work as the floor-scrabbling hell-creature in [REC] and the “Nightmare Character” in The Revenant. Finn Wolfhard continues polishing his genre credentials, following a memorable run in Season 1 of Netflix hit Stranger Things.

So that’s a pretty good pedigree. Some of us had reservations about Skarsgård, about the new look for Pennywise, about the wisdom of attempting to remake something that had already been done so indelibly. With this trailer, it seems safe to say those reservations have vanished.

In other words: We can’t wait for IT to hit US theaters on September 8th. Here’s the official synopsis:

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


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SHORT: ‘Girls Night’ (2017) Halloween finds three girlfriends at a party gone wrong

SHORT: ‘Girls Night’ (2017) Halloween finds three girlfriends at a party gone wrong

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Filmmaker David Teixeira wrote, directed, shot, and edited this modest short, which is in French but offers English subtitles. Here’s the official synopsis:

Girls Night is a short horror film that takes place in Halloween. Three girlfriends stay home for a slumber party that goes bloody wrong. Literally.”

It’s a variation on the venerable “Bloody Mary” legend. You’d think most folks would know better by now.

Teixeira leaned in to the inherent constraints of a shoestring budget, and came up with a mostly good-looking film that underdelivers in the scares department. There are some lingering shots that could be tightened up a bit. But the score is effective, the three main characters are colorful and engaging, and the central antagonist, in creepy mask and blonde wig, has an eerie menacing quality that makes this short worth a look.

So how can you take such a look at Girls Night? Currently, you can’t – but that will soon change. We touched base with Teixeira on the subject:

“It’s been submitted to 15 film festivals internationally. It will be online soon, still waiting to see how it goes with the film festivals and then I’ll put it online. Maybe in April.”

Stay tuned.


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SHORT: Check out ambitious new episode of ‘Scary Endings’ anthology: ‘The Water Rises’

SHORT: Check out ambitious new episode of ‘Scary Endings’ anthology: ‘The Water Rises’

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Online horror anthology series Scary Endings kicks off the new year with what may be its most ambitious episode yet, The Water Rises. Writer/director John Fitzpatrick (Skypemare) and the usual gang of suspects have put together an intense, nasty piece of work set aboard a cruise ship. Two newlyweds find themselves trapped in one of the ship’s elevators when disaster strikes. As the water rises, so does the tension… and the terror.

From a technical standpoint, this was clearly a challenging shoot, as evidenced by the “Behind the Scenes” video below. The Scary Endings team’s efforts really pay off, giving us a claustrophobic, heartbreaking entry in what has grown to become one of our favorite horror anthology series.

The Water Rises co-stars Empire‘s Kaitlin Doubleday and co-producer (and frequent Scary Endings actor) Adam J. Yeend. It also features voice-only cameos from horror veteran Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever, Skypemare) and co-producer Ryan Dillon.


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“Behind the Scenes” look at the making of The Water Rises, featuring the cast and crew:

SHORT: Horror anthology ‘Scary Endings’ S2E02 gets seasonal with ‘Santa Claus is a Vampire’

SHORT: Horror anthology ‘Scary Endings’ S2E02 gets seasonal with ‘Santa Claus is a Vampire’

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Addictive online horror anthology series Scary Endings has released the second epsiode of its sophomore season – and it’s a holiday special! Santa Claus Is a Vampire strikes a tone midway between comedy and horror, with a liberal dash of holiday spice. Writer/director John Fitzpatrick (Skypemare) and his team tell a tale of a less-than-jolly St. Nick wrestling with a thirst that just cannot be quenched. Here’s the official synopsis:

Happily married couple Sharon (Hannah Marshall) and Cody (Ryan Dillon) are returning home with this year’s Christmas tree when an unexpected encounter with Vampire Santa Claus (Casey Kooyman) leaves Sharon sole defender of her home where no one is safe, not her son, the babysitter Holly (Charlotte Chimes) or even herself. Can she stop Santa from coming down that chimney? Traditional vampire rules apply…

It’s good to see Scary Endings return from hiatus. Look for a new short from them each month – they’re worth waiting for.


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“REDRUM!” TCM to present ‘The Shining’ (1980) in select US theaters October 23rd and 26th

“REDRUM!” TCM to present ‘The Shining’ (1980) in select US theaters October 23rd and 26th

TAGLINE: “The Horror is driving him crazy.”

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: 36 years ago, one of cinema’s greatest directors tried his hand at a horror film. Based on a best-selling novel by horror master Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining stands as one of the towering examples of the genre. Even judged solely as a film, free of genre compartmentalization, it is a masterpiece. (Though Gourmet Horror has not yet posted a review of this classic, rest assured it will be a 5-knife one when it eventually is.) Many of us – myself included – have never had the opportunity to see it on the big screen.

Well, now is our chance. Here’s the official announcement:

Heeeere’s Johnny… back on the big screen! Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. Entertainment invite you to relive Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining (1980), when it returns to select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event on Sunday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 26.

From a script he co-adapted from the Stephen King novel, director Stanley Kubrick melds vivid performances, menacing settings, dreamlike tracking shots and shock after shock into a milestone macabre. In a signature role, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, who’s come to the elegant, isolated Overlook Hotel, as the off-season caretaker with his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd). Torrance has never been there before – or has he? The answer lies in a ghostly time warp of madness and murder.

This is no small-scale release. The Shining will play in no less than 2,076 theaters nationwide! Chances are very good it will be shown at a venue near you (and you can find out for sure here). The presenters promise the film will be presented uncut, and in its original United States theatrical aspect ratio (which I assume will be 1.85:1, about which there is much controversy and discussion, some of which is related here). Showings will be preceded by a specially-produced introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.

Who else wants to watch The Shining as the horror gods intended – in the dark, with strangers, on a huge screen? I know I’ll be there. Shall I save you a seat?

Pre-sale tickets are available now.

Jack uttering one of horror's immortal lines

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