AICN HORROR: Bug interviews OCULUS/ABSENTIA Director Mike Flanagan! New horrors: OCULUS! RESPIRE! VANISHING ON 7th STREET! THE DEFILED! Plus watch the entire short zombie film DRAG here!
Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Why ZOMBIES & SHARKS? Well, those are the two things that I’ve had the most nightmares about. It’s the reason I rarely swim in the ocean. It’s the reason I have an escape plan from my apartment just in case of a zombie apocalypse. Now if you’ve ever had those fears or fears like them, inspired mainly by nights upon nights of watching films of the frightening kind, this is the place for you. So look for AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS every Friday for the foreseeable future, horror hounds, where we’ll be covering horror in all forms; retro, indie, mainstream, old and new.
This week we’re looking at handful of new horror films either just released or soon to be, beginning with an interview with Mike Flanagan, the director of the soon to be released film ABSENTIA and his upcoming feature film extension of his short film OCULUS. But before we dive in, I have this for you.
A few weeks ago, I interviewed the folks at Foresight Films about their new films MONSTER BRAWL and EXIT HUMANITY. Well, they sent me this poster this week: the official poster for MONSTER BRAWL. Looks to be a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see this one. Find out more about MONSTER BRAWL here.
(Click title to go directly to the feature)
Interview with OCULUS/ABSENTIA
Director Mike Flanagan
VANISHING ON 7th STREET (2011)
Zeek of the Week: THE DEFILED (2010)
And finally…DRAG (short film)
Bug here with a chat with Mike Flanagan, the director of ABSENTIA and the short film OCULUS. I recently saw both of these films and they are definitely something readers of AICN HORROR should look out for. Here’s what Mike had to say about his new film ABSENTIA, his short film OCULUS, and plans to make OCULUS into a feature length film.
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): Can you tell me a little bit about how OCULUS came to be?
MIKE FLANAGAN (MF): OCULUS really materialized in 2005, after I'd been living in LA for two years and struggling to break into the industry. I was working for a company that produced local commercials (primarily for car dealerships, you know the kind) and had access to their camera equipment. I wanted to make a horror movie and didn't have any money, so the challenge was coming up with a story that would be scary but wouldn't require much as far as, you know, visuals. We shot the film over four days in the back of a coffee shop in Venice, CA for about $1500.00.
BUG: Though the concept of a cursed mirror is a bit odd, it is so completely well done. How do you sell a story about a haunted mirror to folks?
MF: I think mirrors are creepy. There's a great Stephen King short story called "The Reaper's Image" about a mirror that some people see a shadow in, and then they die a few hours later. That story's stuck with me for years. But beyond that, there is no such thing as a perfect mirror - every mirror's surface is full of variations and flaws, so every reflection is at least a little distorted. We think we're seeing reality but we're not. A few horror movies have used contradictions between a reflection and its subject to great effect (I'm thinking of BELOW), and I was curious how far we could push that idea.
BUG: The short is subtitled CHAPTER 3: THE MAN WITH THE PLAN. Was it always planned to make this into a feature film some day?
MF: The original plan was to make it an anthology of short films that could eventually be assembled into a feature film, and we actually made overtures at shooting other "chapters" in 2006 and 2007. As I peddled spec scripts around Hollywood I was always handing out DVDs of the short, and there was some interest right away in a feature take, so the focus shifted away from more shorts and onto a concise feature treatment.
It took several years to figure out how to expand it to feature length while remaining true to the spirit of the short. One man alone in a room for a half hour is tough enough, 90 minutes was absolutely out of the question. We finally cracked it and I'm thrilled with the feature take. I'm really glad we didn't throw our hands in the air and go with one of the earlier ideas; it's way better that we waited for the right take.
BUG: You did so very much with so very little in this short. Can you tell me a little bit about budgetary constraints and how you got around them for OCULUS?
MF: We had about $1500 to shoot with. $300 of that went to the mirror and $750 went to our location rental, and with that little money to offer we really couldn't be choosy about location. We wanted an empty, blank room and were lucky enough to get one, but it wasn't air conditioned and quickly became unbearably hot. We also had to hold our takes whenever they fired up the cappuccino machine up front in the coffee shop, and during peak business hours.
We couldn't afford lights, so we decided to light the set so that it would require no resets in between takes. That meant hanging light bulbs from the ceiling and just resigning ourselves that the lighting could never change, except at the end - and even then, we just used a squeeze dimmer. With no lights to build or move, ever, things went much faster and we could focus on the performance and the set pieces.
We had a skeleton crew and I operated the camera myself. The room was so small (and physically uncomfortable) that we only had three people in there at a given time. Once we were set up, we could really just shoot and shoot - there was only one actor, and there were only a handful of places we could put the camera without seeing the crew in the monitors or in the mirror itself, so ultimately that lack of options made us very efficient.
Storywise, it wasn't a question of shooting around our limitations; it was a question of embracing them. It became a fun challenge - how could we maximize each scare? What was the least we could get away with showing? We quickly figured out that the key to the success of the movie was setting people up properly; the "history" section of the film (which details what's happened to others who have encountered the mirror) would do the work for us - if we did that properly, the anticipation of what people MIGHT see would carry us for most of the running time.
BUG: How did you and actor Scott Graham meet? I imagine you guys worked pretty closely for this film since he's the only guy in it.
MF: Scott and I went to college together at Towson University. I saw some of his theatre work and was very impressed with him. I cast him as the lead in my third feature GHOSTS OF HAMILTON STREET (a Twilight Zone-ish relationship drama), and he was on screen for something like 108 minutes of the 110 minute running time.
I had him in mind while writing OCULUS and remember the phone call I made to offer it to him. I asked if he wanted to work on a short, and then mentioned that he'd basically be alone on screen for, oh, the entire running time. Being that the only other "character" in the film is a mirror, it meant that even when we weren't looking at Scott, we'd be looking at Scott.
That must have been very intimidating; I mean it’s essentially a 30 minute monologue. I know he was nervous and feeling like the success of the movie hung on his shoulders, and frankly he was right. Scott is a fantastic actor and nailed it, and I was really gratified to see him pick up a few Best Actor awards on the festival circuit for his work.
I love working with Scott and will do so whenever I can. He (and the mirror) make a brief appearance in ABSENTIA as well.
BUG: I love the short because it plays out like a stage play utilizing one locale, yet it doesn't feel constricted at all (maybe claustrophobic, but not limited at all by the singular locale). How did you pull this off?
MF: A stage play is exactly what I was thinking about while we were shooting. When you see theatre, especially intimate theatre, you accept the bare surroundings almost instantly. Oddly, I think you accept it more the LESS detail there is to take in. With such a blank space around your actor, it frees you up to really let your imagination create a much larger universe. It almost forces you, actually.
The set is so sterile and blank that I was hoping people would really be free to daydream, particularly while Scott would talk about the mirror. It’s so basic – story time. Around a campfire, you get drawn in because everything except the storyteller drops away into darkness. You focus on the story, and your mind is free of distraction to create its own images. In our case everything around the storyteller fades to white, but it’s the same principle.
I'm a big believer in letting an audience scare itself. The challenge is in planting the right seeds in their minds.
BUG: Tell me a little bit about OCULUS: CHAPTER 3's life after you completed it. It seems to have won tons of awards.
MF: It did. It had a very healthy little film festival run, but there aren't many options for distribution with a short film. It got picked up on an indie horror film anthology called "Aaaaah! Indie Horror Hits," but we never saw a penny from that. I put it up on Amazon through CreateSpace, where it sells a copy or two every few months. And because it's a short, I didn't feel right pricing it above $10, so I get about 45 cents per sale and Amazon takes the rest.
Every now and then it would pop up on a blog or someone would stumble upon it and put up a very nice "why haven't we heard of this movie?" article, but that was about it.
BUG: Did you base any of the extensive backstory on any real events?
MF: Not even slightly. That was the most fun part, actually, was just creating the mythology out of thin air. I was once contacted by a guy who claimed to be a paranormal researcher, and said he too was aware of the "legend" of this mirror and was glad to see it used in a movie. And it's like, um, thanks, but it really is all bullshit.
BUG: You can go into so many directions with this premise. Is the feature going to recount all of the events prior to CHAPTER 3 or is it going to occur after the short completes time-wise?
MF: I wrestled with that question for like four years after making the short. The feature is a proper expansion of the concept - except instead of one man alone with the mirror to prove what it can do, its a brother and sister. When they were kids, their parents had the mirror and everything went VERY wrong. The brother has spent his life in an institution since then, while the sister has grown up to track down the mirror. He's been "cured" by over a decade of psychiatric treatment, and believes that the mirror had nothing to do with what happened, whereas she's convinced it is supernatural.
You get this fun Mulder/Scully vibe as she is trying to prove to him that it has these powers. That story, as they confront the mirror in the basement of an auction house, is intercut with the story of their parents' experience with the mirror, and the two storylines converge in the third act to reveal the truth.
It's being produced by the guys at Fallback Plan Productions, who made ABSENTIA happen as well. Morgan Brown, Justin Gordon and Joe Wicker are already neck deep in the thing, trying to figure out where we should shoot and making the budget work.
BUG: I first heard about you when I checked out ABSENTIA. Can you tell the readers a little about that film (loved it by the way)?
MF: ABSENTIA has really kickstarted things for me. The movie is just starting its festival tour and really getting amazing reviews. I had so much fun making OCULUS that I knew I wanted to make a horror feature, and that I wanted to embrace that "less is more" aesthetic and see if we could sustain a feature length film with that "theatre of the mind" approach. In a lot of ways, it was a dry run for the OCULUS feature, which I knew would cost money I didn't have. ABSENTIA was created using elements that were readily available, and it seems so far to be a tremendous success.
BUG: What did you learn in OCULUS CHAPTER 3 that you brought to ABSENTIA?
MF: The big lessons that carried over from OCULUS for me were, essentially, to trust the imagination of the audience. ABSENTIA tries to do similar things in that it paints certain images in your mind and expects you to use those images to create a horrifying experience. I've learned that I'm something of a minimalist, and that carries over into my camera coverage, musical score, and editorial decisions. So far that strategy is working very well for me.
BUG: Again, in ABSENTIA, you're hinting at an ambiguous otherworldly menace and a portal in which it enters into this world. What about that theme fascinates you?
MF: I'm really intrigued by just how subjective our five-sense experiences of what we call "reality" are, and by the idea that there are things that live outside of our spectrum of experience. We can perceive such a minute percentage of what is happening around us, and the more we learn about the nature of reality the more clear it seems that our perceived reality is just the tip the iceberg. I think that Lovecraft understood that, and what's weird is that the cutting edge of quantum physics is starting to sound more and more like some of the ideas he tended to write about.
I'm also fascinated by the idea of evil entities that are so alien to us, so outside of our understanding, that defeating them is an impossibility. In OCULUS and ABSENTIA the protagonists are outmatched from the get-go, and there's no easy fix for that. I hate horror movies when a teenager figures out how to defeat an ancient evil - what are the odds? I remember seeing MIRROR (out of a paralyzing fear that it would ruin the prospect of an OCULUS feature) and laughing out loud that the evil supernatural force went through all that trouble, and could kill anyone it wanted, anytime or anywhere - just to get shot by Jack Bauer. SO. LAME.
BUG: How did you get Doug (HELLBOY) Jones to take part in ABSENTIA?
MF: Doug is incredibly supportive of indie film, and will tell you firsthand to approach the talent you want, no matter what your budget. If they're available and like the project, odds are they'll work with you. We only needed him for one day and he really dug the script, so we were really lucky to get him.
But it really was as simple as sending an email and asking if he'd be willing to read the screenplay. I approached several other actors for different cameos as well, including Bruce Campbell (who very politely declined, and frankly made my whole week by emailing me back) and Heather Langencamp (who I was never able to get a response from but would love to work with in the future), but Doug was our first and best hope.
BUG: What's your background in?
MF: I've been making movies since I was in 5th grade, though it was always just a hobby. I went to college at Towson University in MD and majored in Mass Comm (the closest thing we had at the time to a Film Major) and that's really always been what I do. I found work as an editor right out of school, and have been doing that to pay the bills for more than a decade now, primarily on reality TV shows.
BUG: I hope not, but we've lost so many good directors, so I have to ask. Are you one of those directors who are going to make it big and leave horror behind?
MF: Never. I adore horror. I don't read nearly enough, but I never miss the new Stephen King novel. I consumed as much horror as I can, and really get jazzed when I find one of those gems like LAKE MUNGO or A TALE OF TWO SISTERS.
And, I don't think that there is some kind of gulf between horror films and "real" films ... like any genre, if you tell good stories and populate your film with real, complex characters, you can make art. I think people give horror a bum rap, and I think that's partly because of the unfortunate trend toward torture porn and other horror movies that don't make plot, character, and emotion a priority.
My lit manager once remarked, with some disappointment it seemed, that I wanted to be a "horror director," like that was aiming lower somehow. I want to be a "horror director" the way Stephen King is a "horror writer." The stories aren't about horror, they're about challenging ideas, confronting our darkest natures, and facing universal fears.
My first three films were all relationship dramas, and I don't necessarily recommend them. The fact is I'm better at horror than anything else I've dabbled with, and I have the most fun playing in the dark. If I'm lucky enough to keep making movies, I'm in this genre for the long haul.
BUG: Very cool. When can ABSENTIA be seen by the masses?
MF: Working on that. We're about to premiere in film festivals in California, Arizona, and Australia (!) in the next two weeks and are trying to secure distribution as we speak. The more the masses ask to see it, the more people might listen - so spread the word!
BUG: How far are you with OCULUS (I see it's got a 2012 release date)?
MF: We're perfecting the script. The whole story is there, and it looks great - I just want to make sure I don't rush it. We've waited this long, I want to make sure the screenplay is as tight as possible.
We've got a significant investment already in place (which is usually the hardest early step), so it’s all about additional fundraising and finalizing the script. We're hoping to shoot this fall or next Spring at the latest. It won't be long, though, and we're at that point where it's absolutely happening - the question is when, and for how much money. That's a fantastic place to be, and it's already the biggest budget I've ever had to play with, so I want to make sure I do it right.
BUG: Thanks so much for answering my questions and best of luck with OCULUS and ABSENTIA. You've got two fantastic films on your hands.
MF: Thank you for your support!
BUG: Below is my review of OCULUS and click here for my review of ABSENTIA from a few weeks ago. And check out the ABSENTIA preview below!
OCULUS: CHAPTER 3 – THE MAN WITH THE PLAN (Short Film, 2006)Directed by Mike Flanagan
Written by Mike Flanagan & Jeff Seidman
Starring Scott Graham
Available on DVD on Amazon.
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
If you didn’t notice from the above interview, I liked OCULUS a lot. Not only is it an original slice of horror, but proof that there is hope for this genre yet and that you don’t need a big budget or bigger stars to make a good horror film. OCULUS plays like a stage play, set in one room, with one actor. It’s a small film with big ideas. In thirty-one minutes, OCULUS does what most mainstream horror film rarely do in and hour and a half…scare the shit out of me.
OCULUS tells the tale of a mirror that appears to be cursed, or at least that’s what the sole actor in this film, Scott Graham, believes. Graham is effective in this role as a nervous yet driven man devoted to solving the riddle of the mirror. The reasons for Graham’s dedication are revealed later in the film, but at first, he seems like a dedicated scientist who has carefully set up cameras, food rations, recording equipment, and telephones in order to prove that something is weird about this mirror. The scene is set so well in this film as Graham reports the history of the mirror into the camera. The stories are so twisted and vividly explained that you can’t help but be sucked into the story. Without one special effect in those first ten minutes of this film, OCULUS had me riveted to the edge of my chair with some smart writing from director/writer Mike Flanagan (and Jeff Seidman) and perfect delivery from Scott Graham.
OCULUS is a near perfect short film. It introduces a terrifying mystery and pulls back the curtain just enough to send shivers down your spine. I’m excited to hear this short will be made into a full length feature. Before it hits theaters in 2012, you should check out OCULUS. I guarantee you’ll be scared at what you see in this mirror.
RESPIRE (2011)Directed by David A. Cross
Written by David A. Cross
Starring Tracy Teague, Mat Wright, Vince Eustace, Jessica Keeler and Ellie Torrezb
Available now on DVD & VOD
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Though the budget is low on this one, you have to give director/writer David A. Cross credit for shooting for the moon with an original concept with themes that have classic horror written all over it. With performances that are pretty darn effective, RESPIRE turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
The plot of RESPIRE hangs on the legend that there is power in the last breath a person takes. The ambitious opener does a decent job of recreating Germany circa WWII, even though it is somewhat obvious this wasn’t shot on location. Director Cross does a decent job with some costumes, some somewhat authentic looking locales, and some digital animation to make this passable (it kind of reminded me of the charm of the old Hollywood films where they tried to make the locales authentic, but the fact that it was filmed on a sound stage was obvious). Cross then skips through time after the scientist is killed, following a trinket box through the ages, passing from house to house, pawn shop to yard sale, until it ends up in a trinket shop with an owner who is dying of cancer. When word gets out that the owner has the box, she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous bidding war for the immortal breath sealed within the box. But once what’s locked in the box is unleashed, horror of the coolest kind ensues.
Sure the concept is a bit goofy, but I admire this film for its originality and spunk. Writer/director Cross makes the best of the low budget by making up with some pretty impressive imagery of shock and terror. The actors, especially the lead played by the beautiful Tracy Teague, are pretty great here as well. Though some of the other actors seem to be a bit young and miscast, Teague has a nice quality here combining strength with vulnerability as a person who is trying to be strong facing her mortality and discovering the possibility of a cure to extend her life. RESPIRE isn’t going to blow your doors off, but does effectively use some shocking imagery and dare venture down new and exciting halls of horror. If you’re sick of stale films about zombies and vampires, RESPIRE is sure to be a breath of fresh air.
VANISHING ON 7th STREET (2010)Directed by Brad Anderson
Written by Anthony Jaswinski
Starring Haden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, & Jacob Latimore
In select theaters today!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
There’s a lot of good to be said about VANISHING ON 7th STREET. Director Brad Anderson is the twisted mind that gave us the immensely creepy SESSION 9 and the equally jarring THE MACHINIST (you know, the skinny Christian Bale movie). Though still a scary flick, VANISHING ON 7th STREET is by far Anderson’s most mainstream film to date. The premise is pretty original compared to what passes for mainstream horror these days: the population of the world simply vanishes one day and only a few folks are left to question why. Soon they learn that shadows have simply swallowed everyone up and must stay in the light in order to not be taken too. Anderson shows a lot of patience and skill behind the camera as the shadows creep closer and closer to a pretty talented cast of big name stars. But there’re also some flaws in this one. Let’s start with the good first, though.
VANISHING sports a fun set of actors at the center of the events. Hayden Christensen is learning to drop some of the woodenness that plagued him in the STAR WARS prequels. Here he plays Luke (did they really have the balls to call him Luke?), a person who wants to be self centered, but events won’t let him be that way. He’s trying desperately to get to Chicago from Detroit, but meets a little black kid (Jacob Latimore), a crazy woman (Thandie Newton), and a wounded man (John Leguizamo). These cast members play off of each other well and Anderson peppers the narrative with flashbacks of how each of them survived the vanishing and what brought them all together.
Anderson sure can fill a scene with intensity. There are a lot of scenes where the shadows are creeping toward one of our heroes. Anderson plays this to a maximum effect most of the time adding real tension to every dark corner or shadowy hallway. VANISHING ON 7th STREET is a good looking film as well. The use of light is pretty spectacular. The backgrounds are so pitch black that when a flashlight or a flare cuts through the darkness, the vibrancy of the light and color of each illumination are simply beautiful.
The scenes at the beginning where we don’t know exactly what’s going on are well paced and put together. I also really liked the Roanoke tie in. This is a chapter in history that has always fascinated me, and to construct a modern day recreation of that missing colony is a good hook to hang some horror. Early on, there’s a scene when Christensen watches news footage of the vanishing caught on tape that is truly haunting. There’s a lot of that in this film.
But to be fair, VANISHING ON 7th STREET has some problems, the biggest being that the actors are put into the same situation over and over. The generator is about to go out. The batteries are about to die. The flare is about the burn out. I lost count of how many times the light flickers and the shadows start creeping toward the stars. This is intense the first couple of times, but after a while, you realize that’s about all you’re going to get from this film. The repetition of this scenario loses its effect after so many viewings.
The transitions between the past and present are a bit jarring at some times in VANISHING and too predictable in others. I sort of think this would have worked better without the leaps in time; if it were told in a more linear fashion. Once the four survivors are gathered together in the bar, it’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD all over again. Why not follow these four on four adventures and then have them all gather toward the end? Ahhh, but I’m getting into hypotheticals too much here. I do it because I really think there’s a good movie in here somewhere and I want to like it.
With VANISHING ON 7th STREET, Brad Anderson has shown that he’s got the chops to handle a big budget horror flick. Having loved SESSION 9 and liked THE MACHINIST a lot, he’s proven to be a filmmaker that I need to watch out for. VANISHING ON 7th STREET has its problems. Basically, it’s a zombie movie without the zombies. But there are some great effects of creeping shadows, disappearing people, and trails of hollowed out clothing which set it apart from your typical zeek. The premise is great. The cast is fun. And there’s some phenomenally awesome blues music sprinkled in between the repetitious scenes of flickering lights and creeping shadows. VANISHING ON 7th STREET just seemed like it ran out of ideas early and just hit repeat until the hour and thirty minute mark.
Directed by Julian Grant
Written by Julian Grant
Starring Brian Shaw, Kathleen Lawlor, Angela Zagone, Alden Moore, & Graham Jenkins
Available through Chemical Burn Entertainment
Reviewer: Ambush Bug
I meant to catch this film when it played at the Chicago International Film Festival last fall. Missed it then, but I’m glad I had a chance to see it now that it’s being released through Chemical Burn Entertainment. I have to come right out at say that this is not a film for everyone. But if you like zombie films and especially like new and ballsy takes on the genre, this is a film you’ll want to put this zeek on your radar.
THE DEFILED is a wordless epic journey of one zombie who may not be like any zombie you’ve ever seen before on screen. Well, maybe he’s a bit like Bub from DAY OF THE DEAD or the gas station attendant from LAND OF THE DEAD, but instead of looking at the broad scope of the zombie apocalypse, director/writer Julian Grant follows this one soulful zombie as he wanders the earth in search of food, a place to call his own, and love.
As I said above, once it’s realized that this is not your typical zombie film, some folks are going to loathe THE DEFILED. Zombie fans are tough to please and straying from the tome either Romero (if you’re a walker) or even Boyle (if you’re a runner) have put into place is risky. Here Grant plays with the notion that some of one’s soul survives once the dead rise. The main zombie (played by Brian Shaw who looks a lot like the first zombie Barbara encounters in the graveyard in NOTLD) is a family man. He’s got a mate and two adoptive kids. He enforces rules. Though he doesn’t need to drink, he’s known to drink alcohol when he finds it. He has doggy-style sex with his zombie wife. He hunts for food for his family when they need it and mourns when he suffers loss. Brian Shaw does a fantastic job of bringing emotion to the blood stained face and by the end of this film, you actually care about this zombie and want him to shamble on forever.
When events separate our main zombie from his family, he presses on down the trail with a baby zombie in tow and crosses paths with a live woman in need of a protector. This mismatched family battles monsters of both the undead and living kind. Grant isn’t afraid to get gory and uncomfortable when he has to. Filmed in Gary, Indiana and Southern Chicago, THE DEFILED is filmed in black and white, taking full advantage of the dilapidated buildings and overgrown landscape one might see traveling along the Dan Ryan Expressway onto the Indiana Toll Road.
If you lack patience or the open-mindedness that zombies can come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, you’re you might want to look elsewhere. But THE DEFILED is an artsy and ballsy little zeek that definitely offers something the genre hasn’t seen before.
And finally, I have a full length short film for you guys called DRAG from Mark Pavia. Pavia went on to direct STEPHEN KING’S THE NIGHT FLIER which was a surprisingly well made flick (I’ll have to revisit that some day here on AICN HORROR). DRAG is a great short film, very moody and well shot. This short is a slow builder, but by the time it reaches the end, it’s pretty amazing. Can’t wait to see what Pavia has up his sleeve next. Until then, enjoy the zombie goodness of DRAG in its entirety in three parts below!
See ya, next week, folks!
Find more AICN HORROR including an archive of previous columns on AICN Horror’s Facebook page!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the names to purchase)!
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Feb. 18, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST
TRANSSIBERIAN, a damn fine suspense thriller from Anderson that is as good as SESSION 9 and MACHINIST (if a totally different film). WHile I enjoyed VANISHING, I think it's the weakest film from hiom so far. (I'm not including his episodes of BOARDWALK EMPIRE and FRINGE)
Feb. 18, 2011, 11:17 a.m. CST
by Ambush Bug
I did totally forget that one. Thanks. I thought TRANSSERBIAN was a pretty fantastic thriller. Kind of like HOSTEL without the torture.
Feb. 18, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST
Oddly, 'Transsiberian' got censored in the UK for its torture scene while 'Hostel' didn't.
Feb. 18, 2011, 8:23 p.m. CST
on HD Net. It was okay.... The review is correct the shadow menace thing gets a little old after awhile. Have to admit that Hayden did a fairly decent job. The ending was a little cliche too.... If I was ranking out of 5 stars it would get a 2.5 meh rating.
Feb. 19, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST
get a shot at something that people can actually go to the theater and see? He's clearly capable and has the chops. Wish someone would give that dude a shot.
Feb. 19, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST
by Ambush Bug
is getting a limited release. Though I can't find it listed anywhere in Chicago. It does have a Feb 18 release date though. I think Anderson is one film away from making a big film. SESSION 9 is one of my favorite modern horror films. Such a great sense of mood and the use of sound in that film is bone-chilling. Plus it has the classic "Fuuuuuuck youuuuu!" line from David Caruso which my friends and I still use on occasion.
Feb. 20, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST
Probably one of the best horror movies ever in my mind. Shame more people didn't see that, but I gotta admit, it isn't really what I'd call commercial. It would be a hard sell. Guess he needs to go the True Grit route and get something out that can get the studios behind him and bring in some dough.
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