Wednesday, October 29, 2014
John Carpenter holds an esteemed spot in Terrorphoria's "Pantheon of Horror Heroes", and the fact that he is willing to be interviewed about video games only makes him even more rad.
You can and should read this quick interview by Patrick Klepek over on Giant Bomb.
Then go watch They Live, mostly because posting that photo above made me want to re-watch They Live.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
(This could have been a Now Screaming piece since this excellent film is currently available to us by the mercy of the Netflix Gods who so cruelly giveth and taketh away, but Bossman Ben and I thought it important to elevate the discussion around this film.)
Here's the thing though, Internets, I know you hate spoilers like you love Jenna Marbles, but if we are going to have an earnest evaluation of something's literary or historical merit, we are going to have to put our big kid slacks on and talk candidly about it. Also, while the Great Old Ones of streaming haven't yet yanked this from your queue, you should just watch it already. It's really freaking good.
Ben's spoiler free review says as much.
Once you're ready to join out spoiler-filled discussion, click the jump to read more!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Holy cow! One year of horror!
It seems like just yesterday, I started writing a silly news tidbit about Army of Darkness 2 and a horror blog was born. Thanks for all your support, readership, and comments. Jeff and I are looking forward to all sorts of cool things in the coming year, so stay with us!
And now, DETHKLOK.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I put my wife and (now three) kids through a lot in pursuit of my creative passions. Luckily, my writing here on Terrorphoria is nothing like the two and a half years I spent on the road pursuing stand-up comedy that left my poor spouse practically a single parent. Like right now, I'm typing this up while my wife and daughters are carving pumpkins. Although that isn't ideal, it's way better than when I would be hours away telling jokes in front of an uninterested crowd so that a bar could sell more chicken wings and draft beer.
The American Scream is a documentary about three families in Fairhaven, MA that put on elaborate home haunts for the local trick-or-treaters. What I found absolutely captivating about it is that it really dove into this creative-pursuit, family tension in a way I haven't really seen in another documentary. This coupled with the interesting culture of setting up a home haunt and the way the three different houses approached it made this a great watch and had me plotting what we could do in our own backyard.
One of three is an IT professional with a wife and two kids that dreams of putting on haunted houses professionally. Although the other families are equally compelling television, especially when juxtaposed with the first (both approach it much more as a hobby with far different standards and ambitions), this family is what really drew in my interest. I could just see my wife in his as she discussed how it would sure be nice if they had room for storage or the kids could have a swing set in the backyard.
The movie is extremely well done, directed by Michael Stephenson who's first film Best Worst Movie about Troll 2 (in which he starred as a young lad) was one of my favorite documentaries ever. Sophomore film efforts are often terrible and that goes double for documentaries, but this was excellent. As such, I'm more than a little impressed and excited for his forthcoming Horror/Comedy feature Destroy.
If you are at all a fan of the October scare season, I highly recommend this. It's also a great watch if, like me, you love to view scary stuff (especially in October) but your wife can't stand it. Heck, even my daughters enjoyed watching it (which is really weird for a documentary). Give it a watch and I bet you'll enjoy the heck out of it.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I'm a huge Silent Hill fan. I think the games (that is to say the early, good ones) really represent not only the best that interactive horror entertainment can offer, but what macabre storytelling should be: high suspense, only earned jump scares, and psychological character studies or societal examinations at the heart of the narrative.
And now, Silent Hill is wrapped up into my personal history in a way that I'll never forget. Don't worry, I'll back up that statement.
By now, anyone that gives a crap about Silent Hill knows that a new game is coming. In fact, fans are excited because we have hope that for the first time in a long while a new installment might actually be good.
See, after Silent Hill 4: The Room (a game that was originally supposed to be a new intellectual property but was forced into being another SH game) Team Silent made like The Pixies. The task of producing games in the franchise was then handed around to various developers who just didn't get it. What was once a franchise of ominous character studies and high tension devolved into cheap jump scares and Pyramid Head appearances handled with the sort of subtitle cameo setup you'd expect from Expendables.
Now in what feels like fantasy decision making that belongs buried in internet forums rather than reality, Silent Hills is being created as a joint venture between Hideo Kojima (a video game producer famous for his high production values in the Metal Gear series) and Guillermo del Toro (if I have to introduce him you're probably on the wrong website). Further, the game will star the best part of the often underwhelming Walking Dead TV show, Norman Reedus.
This doesn't guarantee a quality product, and definitely doesn't mean that Silent Hills will be exactly the same tone and tenor of the Team Silent games. However, for the first time in a long while, I won't be buying the new SH game pre-geared for disappointment like a long time fan buying a recent
Bon Jovi album.
It's 2014. That joke almost doesn't work because people don't buy albums anymore. Similarly, creating a true mystery in this jaded, savvy, internet culture is almost impossible. However, during a pretty momentous week for me this past August, a free game called P.T. randomly appeared in the Playstation store.
It was late in the night when I noticed and downloaded it. What was revealed was an Amnesia style first person horror game. I wandered around a hallway a couple of times and got pretty spooked but thought, "I really ought to get to bed. I'll play the rest of this tomorrow."
And then the next day my wife woke me up to say, "It's time," and we rushed to the hospital to have child number three. The random game I found on the PS store was fairly low on the priority list and I was pretty shocked and excited a few weeks later when my buddy said, "Are you excited about that new Silent Hill game?"
The brilliance of this type of marketing (when done well) is that instead of mass-market trailers being shoved down our throats, all of us that downloaded P.T. had an organic introduction to a new game that we'd already be very excited about. I didn't trigger the Silent Hills trailer at the end of the P.T. that evening (to be fair most people didn't since the thing is set in the kind of convoluted way that only a hyper-curious internet community can solve), but now the new SH will always be something tied closely to my personal history, and that's a pretty cool thing.
The genie is out of the bottle, and it's hard to really recommend P.T. (which just stands for "playable teaser"). It was meant as more of a marketing tool than a game, and like a bottle rocket its inertia is spent. That said, the first half of it is some of the best survival horror gameplay I've seen on a console in a really long time and it looks absolutely stunning. If you have a PS4, my recommendation is to check it out but YouTube the ending if your fun erodes to frustration. In the meantime, I'll be crossing my fingers that when Silent Hills finally comes out it won't be full of cheesy jump scares and Pyramid Head working at Happy Burger.