Review: ‘CLOWNTOWN’ is as frightening as it sounds.

clowntown-final-dvd-artThanks to the likes of Stephen King, Poltergeist, and American Horror Story clowns are not cool. Lately, in fact, people dressed as clowns are attempting to lure small children into wooded areas in middle America. Why? That’s just sick! In Tom Nagel‘s new film CLOWNTOWN, a group of friends is stranded in what appears to be an abandoned town, until crazies dressed as clowns try to kill them. clowntown-still-8There is good, bad, and ugly about this film. We’ll start with the bad. The story is missing just enough explanation to bother me. The back story does not go  far enough into the connection of why. That’s all I’ll say for now, because I do think the film deserves an audience. The ugly, while I’m being relatively nit-picky at this point, is as follows. The film runs long. It could have been much tighter getting to the “good stuff”. That’s basically all in that category. And now, for the good or I should actually say, the great: the acting. I have to say, with the exception of one character, this film has exceptional performances. I have to give our leading ladies a shout out for the level of terror portrayed on their faces. It reads completely genuine to me. Our clown friends are beyond unsettling. On the whole, I was impressed on this front. My favorite part of the entire film has got to be the opening scene. It harkens back to classic horror tropes featuring a babysitter and the creepy kids, brief gratuitous nudity included. It was a fantastic intro  to a story that had all the potential in the world. Also, high five for the homage final shout. I’ll let you discover that fun gem on your own.clowntown-still-12

Clowntown  opens in theaters tomorrow, September 30th.

TITLE: CLOWNTOWN
IN THEATERS: September 30, 2016
DIRECTOR: Tom Nagel
WRITER: Jeff Miller
CAST: Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise, Andrew Staton, Katie Keene, Jeff Denton
SYNOPSIS: A group of friends get stranded in a seemingly abandoned town and find themselves stalked by a gang of violent psychopaths dressed as clowns.
GENRE: Horror
DISTRIBUTOR: ITN Distribution

Review: A ghost story that won’t let the past die in ‘We Are Still Here’

We Are Still Here posterIn the new haunted house horror We Are Still Here, Anne and Paul Sacchetti move to a small New England town to make a fresh start following the death of son Bobby.  Anne believes that Bobby’s spirit is in the house reassuring her that everything is hunky dory. After she and Paul enlist their new age friends Jacob and May to visit and ease their minds, they realize something much older is lurking and poised to rear it’s ugly head. The past does not want to stay in the past.We Are Still Here house stillRight off the bat, the camera work displays an “I’m not alone” feeling with handheld, over the shoulder and around the corner shots that set the tone for the entirety of the film. Establishing shots of each room and the snow covered acres surrounding the property itself, give you a definitely isolated sense. 10 minutes in, our first real set up moment, an object from the past and a blink-and-you-miss-it jump scare of classic proportion. Not bad, not bad at all. Writer/Director Ted Geoghegan, clearly with a crush on the classics good and bad, knows his stuff. The story moves along at lightening pace, laying out a small town’s history mired with sadness, rumors, and evil. We Are Still Here pays homage to films like Amityville and Poltergeist. Films with an unshakable past that seem to be well known by the locals and end up terrorizing the newbies. The practical effects are gold and vomit inducing for sure, but the use of the seamless CG takes the film to another level. We Are Still Here still Lisa and LarryFlawlessly held together with a stellar cast of genre greats, We Are Still Here is an instant classic. Barbara Crampton‘s Anne is grounded, loving, and searching for comfort. Andrew Sensenig‘s portrayal of Paul is as masculine and protective as you can get, without losing that caring husband edge. Larry Fessenden as Jacob is funny and vivacious. Lisa Marie plays May with an airy realness of someone who is actually a sensitive. The four leads work so well with one another, I cannot imagine a different cast. Fun Fact: Both Barbara and Larry recently appeared in the 2011 horror/thriller You’re Next (Another film I would recommend). The music is quiet and looming like that of a small wind chime, and truly adds the the eerie factor. The color scheme of the surrounding dank New England winter (one I grew up with myself) makes the eventual appearance of bright red blood all the more visually impactful. The set dressing is top notch. The house appears untouched since the film’s set 1979 date. Old houses creek, we all know this to be true, but the timing of the sound editing ramps up the natural inclination that maybe you shouldn’t hang out long in a dusty old basement. We Are Still Here Barbara CramptonA few obvious takeaways from this movie: 1. Don’t trust your creepy neighbors, 2. Shit starts flying off the walls you should just assume the worst, and 3. Don’t ever, ever mess with the dead. There are 1000 more things I could praise about this film, thing is, I really  just want you to go see it for yourselves! We Are Still Here arrives in theaters and on VOD today, June 5th. Go get your spooky on.

The New ‘Poltergeist’ Trailer is Here!

poltergeist

20th Century Fox and MGM have released the new trailer for their upcoming Poltergeist remake. You can check it out below!

Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.

The film stars Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back), Rosemarie DeWitt (Kill the Messenger), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Saxon Sharbino (Trust Me), Jane Adams (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Kennedi Clements as Madison.

Poltergeist is set to hit theaters on May 22, 2015.