Review: ‘ABATTOIR’ delivers a sensory labyrinth of mystery and murder.

The film was the 2016 official selection of the LA Film Festival, Fantasia, Sitges and numerous other festivals.  The film stars Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Lin Shaye, Dayton Callie and was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
SYNOPSIS: An investigative reporter works to solve the mystery behind a mysterious man who has been buying houses where tragedies have occurred. Set in a world where it always feels like night, even in daylight hours, real estate reporter Julia Talben’s life is turned upside down when her family is brutally murdered. It is believed to be an open and close case, but Julia quickly realizes there is much more to this story when she returns to the crime scene to find the murder room deconstructed and physically removed from her sister’s home. This ignites an investigative pursuit that eventually leads her and ex-lover Detective Declan Grady to the town of New English where they find the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the Abattoir – a monstrous house stitched together with unending rooms of death and the damned.  Julia comes to realize that her sister’s soul is trapped inside, but the Abattoir isn’t just a house – it’s a door to something more evil than anyone could have ever imagined. Julia and Grady are ultimately faced with the question: How do you build a haunted house? One room at a time.
Darren Lynn Bousman, director of several of the Saw franchise sequels, and one of my all-time favorite films REPO! The Genetic Opera, brings to life a peculiar story and a visual maze. The look of Abbatoir is something to behold and one that evolves as the story rolls along. It’s a thriller, horror, and first person video game all wrapped into one lovely and bizarre package. The costumes are intentional throw backs that give further validity to a tale that criss crosses generations. Lin Shaye, who has what I like the call the “Timelord effect” (similar to another horror legend Barbara Crampton,) a timeless quality to her presence and ability to inhabit any character she tackles effoertlessly. Jessica Lowndes is reteaming with Bousman after appearing in The Devil’s Carnival. Her classic movie star looks only enhance her believeable performance as a headstrong and heartfelt woman determined to uncover the mystery behind who or what is buying homes where violent tragedy occurs and rips out the murder room. The answers are extraordinarily twisted. The films runs about 1hr40mins but feels very much likethe graphic novel it was based upon. This could have easily been made into a mini series. Abattoir is intriguing from the very first shot and will keep your brain engaged with plot and stunning sets throughout. Momentum Pictures is releasing Abattoir today in Theaters, VOD and Digital HD, December 9th

TITLE: ABATTOIR
IN THEATERS, VOD AND DIGITAL HD:  December 9, 2016
DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman
WRITER: Christopher Monfette
CAST: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Lin Shaye, Dayton Callie

DISTRIBUTOR: Momentum Pictures

Review: ‘JACK GOES HOME’ proves that Rory Culkin is terrifyingly good at his job.

jackgoeshome_theatrical_27x39They say you can never go home again. Maybe some of us should heed this advice depending on the skeletons in our closets. In Thomas Dekker‘s new film JACK GOES HOME, Rory Culkin finds himself playing the title character whose loss might be his greatest gain. Or maybe it’s the other way around.
r1I’ve see a horror film or two in my day, but I’ve never seen anything like Jack Goes Home. The story appears to be straight forward: Jack’s parents are in a car accident. His father dies and he goes home to take care of his mother, who has survived. When something goes bump in the night, he is compelled, by his father’s own words, to explore his childhood like never before. It doesn’t take too long before things get weird. Grief can make people act in funny ways, but this film takes it to a whole other level. Dekker’s script is off the hinges with scares both physically and emotionally. You’re never quite sure who is fooling whom. rl1With genre veteran Lin Shaye as Jack’s mother, you’re immediately thrown for a loop. Her presence is this insane mix of calming and unnerving. Each scene she appears in makes your skin crawl. Rory Culkin is more intense with each role he takes on. Following up on his fierce performance in Gabriel, there is no doubt this young man is a star. Jack is one hell of a character and when the film has the balls to open by having him break the fourth wall, you know you’re in for a ride. Each scene tops the next in mystery and fear and Culkin is the driving force behind your unease. As the credits rolled I thought, “What the hell did I just see?!” Then in watching the trailer again, I had so many more questions and theories. This is a film I’ll be speculating about for some time. It begs for multiple viewings.

JACK GOES HOME hits US cinemas and VOD on Friday, October 14th, from Momentum Pictures.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, language throughout, and drug use.

Liz’s Review: Vengeance and Religion drive the fight in ‘REDEEMER’

Redeemer posterGuilt is a loud devil on your shoulder. The past can drive you mad or drive you to change… sometimes a little bit of both. In Ernesto Diaz Espinoza‘s new film REDEEMER, a man known only by this title is a mysterious figure, righting wrongs among his small Chilean community. Tortured by an unthinkable past that is slowly revealed as the film progresses, The Redeemer must conquer his own ghosts in order to battle the biggest evil he has ever known. Can he protect those left behind? redeemer 2Marko Zaror, martial arts action star extraordinaire, takes on the lead with ease and ownership. Not only is his acting pretty damn stellar, he is also the fight coordinator for the film’s vast array of sequences that are enhanced by key moments of slow motion. These sequences are extremely long and well shot. It was mostly refreshing to see an organic quality about the battles. They are interesting and definitely full of surprises. My favorite aspect would definitely be the use of graphic blood splatter. Reading like a first person shooter game, the blood use is colorful, impactful, and sometimes just over-the-top enough to make you cringe at the perfect moments. redeemer 1The dialogue is creative and comic relief comes in the form of our only English speaking character, drug lord Bradock, Noah Segan, who I recognized from Deadgirl, is so natural in his comedy it should be against the law.  He was actually my favorite part of the film. Segan has 8 projects this year alone, including Tales of Halloween with Lin Shaye (Insidious) and Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga), as well as The Mind’s Eye with Larry Fessenden (We Are Still Here). This guy is around for the long hall. Bottom line, if you liked Netflix’s Daredevil season 1, Redeemer will resonate with you. While it could be about 10-15 minutes tighter, due to the extended fight scenes, this film is definitely worth a shot.

Acclaimed Chilean director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza (Mandrill, The ABCs of Death, Kiltro) teams up again with martial arts action star Marko Zaror (Undisputed III, Machete Kills) in the theatrical and VOD release of REDEEMER. The epic action film, which made its debut at the 2014 Fantastic Film Festival, hits theaters and VOD on June 12 from Dark Sky Films.

Wizard World names Lin Shayne from “Godmother of Horror”

Wizard WorldLEGENDARY ACTRESS DEFIES STEREOTYPES AS HEROINE OF
INSIDIOUS HORROR FRANCHISE

Wizard World, one of North America’s most diverse entertainment and events companies, named legendary actress Lin Shaye the “Godmother of Horror” at this weekend’s Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia.

Lin Shaye will next be seen reprising her role as Elise Rainier, the gifted psychic heroine, in the upcoming horror film INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3.  In addition to the INSIDIOUS franchise, Shaye has appeared in more than 20 horror films including the classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and cult favorite SNAKES ON A PLANE.

Wizard World“Honoring Lin Shaye as the Godmother of Horror was a no-brainer as we celebrate Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia this Mother’s Day weekend,” said Wizard World spokesman Jerry Milani. “Lin’s legacy in films of all genres make her queen of the movie scene, and her unparalleled, haunting performances in so many movies, especially the INSIDIOUS franchise, make her the obvious and deserved choice for the Godmother of Horror Award.”

Of her role in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, Shaye says “I’m kind of the unlikely hero.  I’m not the hot young guy or the gorgeous girl. I love the character, and so do the fans.  I have a really youthful fan base, which is so much fun for me because I’m so old.  I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.”

Aaron Sagers, renowned horror and film enthusiast, officially presented Lin with the honor during a special Wizard World Presentation.  Shaye provided fans with insider information on INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 and discussed her status as the rare older woman to defy industry stereotypes while staking her claim in the horror genre.

insidious-3-bannerINSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 Synopsis

The darkest Insidious chapter plunges audiences back into the otherworldly realm The Further, revealing how Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) first braved it in her fight to save a young woman from demonic possession.

Insidious: Chapter 3, the new movie in the terrifying horror series, is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. The film is set years before the haunting of the Lambert family, and Elise’s battles with spirits from The Further, in Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2. In the prequel, teenaged aspiring actress Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, and seeks out a gifted psychic – Elise.  Elise feels protective of sensitive Quinn, but tragedy in Elise’s past has left her reluctant to use her abilities. Soon a shocking accident leaves Quinn recuperating at home, as her widowed father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) struggles to hold his family together. Then Quinn is attacked in her bedroom by a malevolent supernatural entity, and Sean pleads with Elise to help. Wrestling with her faith and sense of purpose, Elise summons her powers to contact the dead – with support from two new acquaintances, unlicensed parapsychologists Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell).  Forced to venture deep into The Further to protect Quinn, Elise soon finds herself facing off against the most ruthless enemy she has ever encountered: a demon with an insatiable craving for human souls.

A Focus Features presentation in association with Stage 6 Films of an Entertainment One presentation. A Blumhouse Production. An Oren Peli Production.Insidious: Chapter 3. Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, and Lin Shaye. Casting by Terri Taylor, CSA. Costume Designer, Ariyela Wald-Cohain. Music by Joseph Bishara. Edited by Tim Alverson, ACE. Production Designer, Jennifer Spence. Director of Photography, Brian Pearson, ASC. Executive Producers, Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Peter Schlessel, Lia Buman, Xavier Marchand. Produced by Jason Blum, p.g.a., Oren Peli, James Wan. Based on characters created by Leigh Whannell. Written and Directed by Leigh Whannell. A Focus Features Release. 

wizard worldFor more information about Wizard World:  www.wizardworld.com

For more information on Lin Shaye’s roles:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005417/