Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness, HorrorAddicts.net

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Siren

Susanne L. Lambdin

Noel Saabye

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

WordsmithCrystalConnor

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

@notesfromtheauthor

@Fromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

And They All Lived Happily Ever After!

 

The NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER Contest: 6 more days to enter!

ONLY 6 MORE DAYS TO ENTER!

nghwcontestAre you a horror writer who dreams of seeing their work in print?

Are you willing to perform challenges to win a book contract?

Do you have at least one horror novel to pitch?

Then you might be the…

NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER!

Enter to compete in the HorrorAddicts.net horror writing contest!

This contest is free to enter.

Grand Prize (one lucky and talented writer will receive):

  • Novel/book contract.
  • Free edit of novel up to 50,000 words.
  • Short story contract with HorrorAddicts.net “Horror Bites” series.
  • Horror Writer gift box. Supplies and inspiration for the Next Great Horror Writer.

Mini-Prizes- Episode specific (one winner from each challenge will receive one of the following):

  • A read of your work for podcast and promotion
  • Feature on another horror news podcast of your non-fiction work
  • Audio drama produced for podcast and promotion
  • 4 different publication contracts for shorts.
  • A sketch of your character by an anime artist.
  • Short story contract with HorrorAddicts.net “Horror Bites” series.
  • More!

*Note: Unlike some previous HorrorAddicts.net contests, you will not be required to produce fiction audio for this contest. The only audio involved in this contest is in the form of interviews with HorrorAddicts.net staff. The contest will be based on your ability to write.

Professional writers, editors, artists, and movie industry people will be involved in the judging including, but not limited to:

  • Author Annette Curtis Klause, Blood and Chocolate, Silver Kiss, Freaks.
  • Producer, Director, Writer Frank H. Woodward, Men in Suits, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown
  • DJ & Horror Host The Count, Cemetery Confessions, The Requiem & The Belfry Network
  • Author & Editor Dairo Ciriello, Panverse Publishing, Aegean Dream, Black Easter
  • Author & Entertainer Mark Eller, Hell Hole Tavern, The Turner Chronicles, God Wars
  • Author, Editor, Game Designer Jeremiah Donaldson, Plague, The Hunt
  • Sirens Call Publications
  • Author & Publisher Nina D’Arcangela, Bent Metal & Sirens Call Publications
  • Author Juilanne Snow, Days with the Undead & Sirens Call Publications
  • Author & Humorist, Timothy G. M. Reynolds, The Broken Shield, Stand Up & Succeed
  • Mocha Memoirs Press
  • Author & Publisher, Nicole Kurtz, Silenced & Mocha Memoirs Press

Basic rules:
*You must be 18 years or older. (Or will be 18 by March 1, 2017)
*You must not currently be a HorrorAddicts.net staff member.
*You must be able to write and communicate in English, even if it’s your second language.
*You have to be a newbie—meaning you do not have a book-sized publication for sale with a publisher. Nothing over 10,000 words can be for sale by anyone but yourself. So self-pub authors are eligible.
*You are committed to doing your best to complete in each challenge by the deadline and in theme. Challenges run from March 2017-October 2017.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE MARCH 1st, 2017

HOW TO ENTER

TO ENTER, copy and paste the section below and fill in your particulars. Don’t forget to attach to your email everything listed in the “ATTACHED” section. Email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

———————————————-

STATS:
Pen name:
Real name if different:

Age:

City/State/Country:

In your own words, what does horror mean to you?

Your favorite horror genre:

What is your writer goal?

How many years have you been writing?

Why do you want to be the Next Great Horror Writer?

Social media:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Instagram:

ELIGIBILITY:
I understand that by submitting my name for consideration, I am in agreement with the statements below:
*I am 18 years or older. (Or will be 18 by March 1st, 2017.)
*I am not currently a HorrorAddicts.net staff member.
*I am able to write and communicate in English, even if it’s my second language.
*I have a full-length novel or novella ready to pitch to a publishing house.
*I understand I must not have a novella or novel-sized publication available for sale by a publisher of any size. (Self-pub is okay. Old book deals no longer in place are okay. As long as no other entity is making money from a book-length anything over 10,000 words–if in doubt, ask)
*I understand that the contest will consist of many challenges from March 2017-October 2017 and I am committed to doing my best to complete in each by the deadline and in theme.
*Writing, audio, or content I provide for this contest must be unaired, published, or otherwise distributed content aside from the final novel submission that can be self-published or posted only. More details on the content right will be discussed in the contract should I be chosen.

***Type your name here as proof of reading the above rules:

ATTACH:
*100 word story horror story. (doc or rtf)
*100 bio and list of previously published works. (doc or rtf)

David’s Haunted Library: Dead Over Heels

David's Haunted Library

33115353Veronica is looking for true love, it hasn’t been easy and now she thinks using a little magic may help. It works in the form of Sebastian and they hit it off instantly. Their first date is in a haunted restaurant and as luck would have it their romantic dinner is the scene of a supernatural encounter. They notice a young couple dining, but no one else does, and Veronica along with an apprehensive Sebastian decides to investigate further. They discover that they have a connection to the couple in question and they may be the only ones who can set the ghosts free.

Dead Over Heels by Theresa Braun is a paranormal love story with  elements of horror and mystery. There is a lot going on in this book in a short period, and I loved how the story begins with a little foreshadowing to let you know this love affair is not your average affair. Everything was described in great detail from the characters emotions to the various settings.

I enjoyed how the couple’s relationship developed from the description of their first date to the point of when they realize that something strange is going on in the restaurant. My favorite part was when Veronica sees a couple very much in love and wishes that someday she can have something like that, not knowing what’s coming to her. There was also a scene where Veronica compares being abandoned to putting on a worn pair of jeans. With this line, I felt fully invested in this character and was hoping for a happy ending.

I loved how the author got you to like the two main characters before anything bad happened. During the second part of the book you get to witness the two changed by a paranormal revelation and they realize nothing will ever be the same. My one problem with the story is how it ended, without giving much away, it felt like there was no closure.  With that said, the writing was very good and I like how what happens in the past affects what happens in the future, showing that some things and people are connected. This is a good little ghost story and I would love to read some longer works from Theresa Braun.

 

The NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER Contest – Enter Now!

nghwcontestAre you a horror writer who dreams of seeing their work in print?

Are you willing to perform challenges to win a book contract?

Do you have at least one horror novel to pitch?

Then you might be the…

NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER!

Enter to compete in the HorrorAddicts.net horror writing contest!

This contest is free to enter.

Grand Prize (one lucky and talented writer will receive):

  • Novel/book contract.
  • Free edit of novel up to 50,000 words.
  • Short story contract with HorrorAddicts.net “Horror Bites” series.
  • Horror Writer gift box. Supplies and inspiration for the Next Great Horror Writer.

Mini-Prizes- Episode specific (one winner from each challenge will receive one of the following):

  • A read of your work for podcast and promotion
  • Feature on another horror news podcast of your non-fiction work
  • Audio drama produced for podcast and promotion
  • 4 different publication contracts for shorts.
  • A sketch of your character by an anime artist.
  • Short story contract with HorrorAddicts.net “Horror Bites” series.
  • More!

*Note: Unlike some previous HorrorAddicts.net contests, you will not be required to produce fiction audio for this contest. The only audio involved in this contest is in the form of interviews with HorrorAddicts.net staff. The contest will be based on your ability to write.

Professional writers, editors, artists, and movie industry people will be involved in the judging including, but not limited to:

  • Author Annette Curtis Klause, Blood and Chocolate, Silver Kiss, Freaks.
  • Producer, Director, Writer Frank H. Woodward, Men in Suits, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown
  • DJ & Horror Host The Count, Cemetery Confessions, The Requiem & The Belfry Network
  • Author & Editor Dairo Ciriello, Panverse Publishing, Aegean Dream, Black Easter
  • Author & Entertainer Mark Eller, Hell Hole Tavern, The Turner Chronicles, God Wars
  • Author, Editor, Game Designer Jeremiah Donaldson, Plague, The Hunt
  • Sirens Call Publications
  • Author & Publisher Nina D’Arcangela, Bent Metal & Sirens Call Publications
  • Author Juilanne Snow, Days with the Undead & Sirens Call Publications
  • Author & Humorist, Timothy G. M. Reynolds, The Broken Shield, Stand Up & Succeed
  • Mocha Memoirs Press
  • Author & Publisher, Nicole Kurtz, Silenced & Mocha Memoirs Press

Basic rules:
*You must be 18 years or older. (Or will be 18 by March 1, 2017)
*You must not currently be a HorrorAddicts.net staff member.
*You must be able to write and communicate in English, even if it’s your second language.
*You have to be a newbie—meaning you do not have a book-sized publication for sale with a publisher. Nothing over 10,000 words can be for sale by anyone but yourself. So self-pub authors are eligible.
*You are committed to doing your best to complete in each challenge by the deadline and in theme. Challenges run from March 2017-October 2017.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE MARCH 1st, 2017

HOW TO ENTER

TO ENTER, copy and paste the section below and fill in your particulars. Don’t forget to attach to your email everything listed in the “ATTACHED” section. Email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

———————————————-

STATS:
Pen name:
Real name if different:

Age:

City/State/Country:

In your own words, what does horror mean to you?

Your favorite horror genre:

What is your writer goal?

How many years have you been writing?

Why do you want to be the Next Great Horror Writer?

Social media:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Instagram:

ELIGIBILITY:
I understand that by submitting my name for consideration, I am in agreement with the statements below:
*I am 18 years or older. (Or will be 18 by March 1st, 2017.)
*I am not currently a HorrorAddicts.net staff member.
*I am able to write and communicate in English, even if it’s my second language.
*I have a full-length novel or novella ready to pitch to a publishing house.
*I understand I must not have a novella or novel-sized publication available for sale by a publisher of any size. (Self-pub is okay. Old book deals no longer in place are okay. As long as no other entity is making money from a book-length anything over 10,000 words–if in doubt, ask)
*I understand that the contest will consist of many challenges from March 2017-October 2017 and I am committed to doing my best to complete in each by the deadline and in theme.
*Writing, audio, or content I provide for this contest must be unaired, published, or otherwise distributed content aside from the final novel submission that can be self-published or posted only. More details on the content right will be discussed in the contract should I be chosen.

***Type your name here as proof of reading the above rules:

ATTACH:
*100 word story horror story. (doc or rtf)
*100 bio and list of previously published works. (doc or rtf)

Kbatz: Indoor Horror Scares

Frightening Flix

 

Indoor Horror Scares

by Kristin Battestella

 

Who needs to go on vacation when these rural horrors and at home perils are more than enough fright?

 

BugRetro telephone rings, an isolated and rundown motel, and blue neon lighting establish the would be rock bottom for beat up, lonely, straggly haired waitress Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy) in this 2006 psychological scare directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist). Unfortunately the solitary drinking, drug use, and one sided phone conversations become much worse thanks to the enigmatic and awkward Michael Shannon (Take Shelter) and his forthright perceptions on crickets and conspiracies. The smoke detector, a pizza delivery – even the disappearance of Agnes’ son years prior is newly suspect. Violent, intrusive ex-husband Harry Connick Jr. (Copycat) is equally solid thanks to meaty one-on-one dialogues, masculine tensions, and terse back and forth exchanges. There’s exposition, sure, but these conversations realistically rely more on past emotions and mistakes the characters already know. This is a messed up, small, and sad little world with more pronounced accents for the Oklahoma setting and a one room design that looks ten years older anchoring the dramatic first hour as the creepy crawlies, military history, and medical paranoia increase. Just because one can’t see the infestations that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, right? People flipping out over bugs invisible to the audience can be unintentionally humorous, granted. However, the well edited camera cuts and movements within the tiny stage space ala the Tracy Letts (Killer Joe) source play accentuate the increasingly crazy theories and jumping to conclusions extremes – which are in turn ridiculous and unbelievable. Even if there is a grain of truth impetus and misplaced maternal instincts realized too late, sparse uses of bite marks, blood, plastics, tin foil, and bug lights – as in dozens of bug lights and wall to wall tin foil shiny – isolate our lead pair within their conspiracy together. The zapper glow adds a surreal, padded room reflection where homemade madness trades one type of abuse and insanity for another. Let’s pull out our own teeth because the government put bugs in our fillings! Okay! This is not scare a minute slasher dicing horror as some viewers would expect but rather a freaky thinking person’s examination of mind and body fears and inside and out delusions all done without CGI and $250 million hyperbole. As to the slightly confusing post credit clips, I suspect the first is where Agnes’ mental breakdown began and the second is when her delusion passes the point of no return. Of course, I could be wrong, as it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to watch this particular movie while I had a hives breakout!

 

housebound2014horrormovieposter

Housebound – This 2014 New Zealand import isn’t as financially strapped as other low budget terrors, but this horror comedy does have plenty of old fashioned basement trappings, ominous neighbors, potential paranormal activity, unexplained voices, and one eerie abode with a bad history. Accents and place names might be tough for some and viewers have seen this type of isolated or laid up and monitored scary previously. Fortunately, the titular punishment leads to some new crazy versus supernatural spins along with lovely outdoor photography, old time radios, dated computers, dial up modems, tape recorders, Polaroids, and gasp corded phones. Shrewd exposition – calling into a paranormal radio show to tell an encounter – compliments the quick newspaper research, and a well designed lighting scheme with noir smoke, darkness, solitary lamps, and an aged, golden patina adds atmosphere. Is this merely clutter, leftover antiques, attic access, creaking doors, or something sinister? Clueless parents may seem annoying to start, but we come around to our bad girl with a ‘tude emo lead as the activity escalates. Though there are a few jump scares, this is not akin to today’s paranormal reality series or shock and awe shenanigans. The comedy is not gross out, laugh out loud either, but rather a generational quirky, kooky household objects, and battling bemusements – old toys are both creepy yet humorous. Disbelieving authorities, surprising movements, and other unexpected interference keep the eponymous limits from becoming stagnant as more pieces are added to the mystery. This puzzle is not in your face horror, but the majorly upticked final half hour puts everything perfectly on its ear and will have the audience holding its breath. And let me reiterate, there is no, repeat, no reason for a forthcoming stateside remake!

 

Late PhasesA pleasant, mature ensemble including Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait), Tina Louise (Gilligan’s Island), Karen Lyn Gorney (Saturday Night Fever), Dana Ashbrook (Twin Peaks), Tom Noonan (The Monster Squad), and Lance Guest (The Last Starfighter) battle the werewolves afoot as blind veteran Nick Damici (We Are What We Are) moves to a fishy retirement community in this 2014 tale. Headstone shopping, senior discounts – it’s expensive to die, and such issues acerbate the grief, discomfort, and difficulty adjusting to new surroundings nevermind ominous hooded visitors, suspicious animal attacks, or finding a gunsmith to make silver bullets no questions asked. Cranky encounters with nosy old ladies build humor and drama, investing the audience with a likable protagonist and quips about old people all smelling the same before dog door scares, shadows at the window, and werewolves breaking and entering. Granted, some will be put off by the hokey wolf suit. However, darkness, smart camera angles, and suspenseful canine versus lycanthrope action hide most of the monster design while good gore, echoes on the fallen telephone, and violent sounds on the other side of the wall add fear. Monthly preparations mount as neighborhood clues and a keen sense of smell could identify the wolfy during the countdown till the next full moon. The cops may be tired of answering elderly calls and family ditches their defenseless parents, but those left behind must grapple with religious redemption, Vietnam fallout, and haunting sacrifices – familiar topics not often discussed in horror. Yes, there are some flaws here with confusing logistics, poor editing, and weak effects. Fortunately, this grown up Silver Bullet and endearing last hurrah makes its scares and emotions felt with horror and mystery amid a refreshing real world honesty.

 

Leave it!

 

Red State This 2011 eighty-eight minutes establishes its small town mood quickly with bigoted protests, homophobia, and rebelling against redneck Middle America ignorance and hypocrisy. The too chill classroom and modern teens are however immediately annoying – three dudes spewing gay slurs and lame, compensating gang bang talk deserve what comes to them and the audience never has a reason to care. There are smartphones and porn sites, but mullets, back road car crashes, a trailer in the woods, cages, and sex being the devil’s business comments forebode a rural horror potential that instead gives way to misused hymns and Biblical quotes in uncomfortable cult dressings. Disturbing family congregation cheers and askew, from below camera angles are meant to reflect this warped, but the gross, in real time sermon steers the picture into heavy handed commentary. The first five minutes were already unnecessary and I really wanted to skip over this icky segment and turn the movie off all together in the first half hour. If I wanted to get disgusted by corrupt shit, I’d watch the news. Every fifteen minutes viewers are continually betrayed with a pulling the rug out bait and switch combining for some kind of clunky horror FBI raid meets zealot save the children siege. I see why stars like John Goodman and Melissa Leo were interested in the subject matter, but there’s no finesse in the attempted statements or falling flat scares. Hate crimes and horror really don’t mix. Trying to be witty dialogue ends up as corny misses – and I love Kevin Smith’s humor in Clerks and social winks in Dogma. Once again, a one and the same writer/director really should have had another person tell him you can’t squeeze a bigoted drama horror movie political action film together and expect something fulfilling. While I applaud the edgy approach and true indie notion of for the people by the people film making, the self promotional on demand distribution and lack of recognition here is not surprising. Not only does this toss in every taboo possible, but the wanna be shrewd controversial never makes up its messy mind.

Kbatz: Watery Vacation Frights

Frightening Flix

 

Watery Vacation Frights

by Kristin Battestella

 

These folks should have kept their toes away from these coastal horrors and icy vacations!

 

Bay CovePamela Sue Martin (Dynasty) Tim Matheson (The West Wing), Woody Harrelson (Cheers), Jeff Conway (Grease), Barbara Billingsly (Leave it to Beaver), and more familiar retro faces star in this 1987 television movie going by several titles. Full moons, chanting, cemeteries, churches, candles, confessions, and lightning immediately invoke an evil, medieval mood contrasting the eighties women’s business suits, shoulder pads, and complaining yuppies. All the denim, mod decor, jazz, and black satin slips go for a dated, trying to sexy mood, but that’s quickly left behind after our couple hears about a chance to invest their construction business in a nearby island fixer upper – moving from the big city and starting a family unfortunately blinds them from that suspicious bargain price! Eighteenth century history, hidden rosaries, creepy old books, dogs versus cats, and a locked basement accent the increasing strange old landlady, odd neighbors, generational residents, and mysterious figures in the window. Despite pretty greens, beach-side birds chirping, and smooth ferries; all black clothes, spooky quilts, torches, and an escalating colonial tone build to tales of burning at the stake and an abandoned puritan past. Fishy headstone dates, pentagrams under the general store, and missing pets divide husband and wife alongside work and home conflicts, mistrustful realtors, and explosive jeep accidents that look quite good even with a then television low budget. Phantom ye olde dressed kids, melodramatic slow motions screams, and up close soft focusing are however, a bit much, and the credits rush over a somewhat corny finale. While the gaslighting, sacrifices, and midnight deadlines proceed as expected with twists that won’t surprise most horror viewers, the crazy dreams, stormy nights, and hooded robes remain entertaining thanks to the likable cast and ghastly atmosphere.

 

Neverlake The modern amid old stone buildings, winding rural roads, and crisp hint of snow quickly turn to morbid Shelly poems, floating bodies, and dead trees for a teen on a Tuscan visit to her doctor father in this 2012 Italian production. While creepy kid shocks, hitting over the head Peter Pan motifs, juvenile fantastics, and redundant narrations seem pedestrian; the family dynamics, would be step mother, suspicious research, and locked doors accent the Etruscan studies, fragile statues, and ancient artifacts. Whispers on the lost healing powers of the Lake of Idols and exploring alone in the woods become foreboding thanks to sickly green water and nighttime warnings – not to mention the severe looking nearby hospitals, escalating injuries, and sudden operations. Although eerie dreams may be an excuse for visual horrors or shock music and “Ominous Ambiance” closed captions are bemusing, subtle ghostly sounds, natural winds, and watery phantoms work alongside talk of life giving rituals and fine Arezzo locations. Freaky dolls, minimal technology, cemetery visits, and ticking clock experiments add to the rogue archaeology, stolen relics, hidden rooms, serious reveals, and family twists. At times, however, the plot stalls, skipping over explanations and more interesting Etruscan ties while going overboard on other parallels – voiceovers feel tacked on as do the obviously sinister mechanics, obligatory child horrors, and mystical attempts. The need to return the effigies, household frights, and medical surprises are intriguing enough without the misleading video cover and slasher label. While easy to solve for wise horror viewers, this pace feels meant for a younger audience and doesn’t resort to overly trite Hollywood techniques. Though flawed, this directorial debut isn’t bad and can be a nice little spooky ghost story for teen viewers looking for a unique scare.

 

220px-the_prowler

 

The Prowler Cape May filming locations accent this 1981 slasher alongside classic star Farley Granger (Strangers on a Train), black and white World War II newsreels, big band music, and swanky cars. Unfortunately, Dear John letters turn Avalon Bay’s 1945 graduation dance into unexpected horror thanks to the titular mask wearing killer, battlefield get ups, pitchforks, and plenty of blood. While the 1980 switch brings a new dance with short shorts, bad flirting deputies, and feathered hair, the murderer is back on the loose attacking the disposable babes – good girl, slut, wallflower, frienemy. Despite dainty, braless frills and steamy shower boobs, some scenes here are laughable with a dated and not exactly stellar cast. The music isn’t bad, but the dancing is pathetic, plot holes and disappearing characters come and go, the deputy just looks around rather than radioing for help, and a few stupid people don’t know they are in a horror movie. Fortunately, the killer personality is unique, and interesting camera perspectives or the generally unseen beyond the retro get up filming accent very good effects from gore master Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead) such as through the skull knives and poolside assaults with nasty yet realistic splatter. There are some false jump moments, but the tension raises and lowers organically without the need for amped up boos or crescendos. A creepy old man in a wheelchair, dark Victorian homes, cramped rooms, and covered furniture add to the chases, clues, desecrated graves, and fireplace shocks. The suspenseful stalking and shadowed silhouettes invoke more menace as the viewers guess who’s next. Though perhaps obvious at times with a slightly limp ending, unexpected turns and gunshot toppers compliment the early slasher staples at work – wise audiences can see the influence on Scream and other spoofs. Lone settings and individual isolation do better than large scale terrors here, making for some entertaining, shout at the television viewing. He has a pitchfork, honey, a chain on the door isn’t going to help! 

 

Don’t Go There!

 

Frozen – Not that one! Before there was Frozen, there was this 2010 ski resort escapade – which my husband said I probably wouldn’t like. Indeed there’s a lot going against this with obnoxious music, jerky attitudes, ski lift scams, a boyfriend proud to make his girl flirt to their advantage, and his jealous third wheel BFF. Playing in the snow, can’t ski montages, and kiddie mountain safety contribute to the trio’s awkwardness and lame arguing over skis or snowboards and cigarettes versus pot. The terrible slice of life dialogue and hollow conversation on the worst ways to die includes favorite cereals, Jaws, and Star Wars, because of course. Naturally, nobody goes skiing with their expensive phones, and nightfall and weather warnings are ignored so these yuppies can sneak passed quitting operators for one more huzzah. The mechanical creepy and equipment problems are ominous enough thanks to beautiful mountain snowscapes, bleak aerial photography, and up close overhead shots of dangerous gears, blades, and wires. Goggles, hats, and hoods invoke the brisk practical designs and chilly Utah locales while the lights out, howling winds, sleet, and thundersnow spell peril. Unfortunately, immature finger pointing and a going through the motions tone hamper the intriguing premise of being stuck on a ski lift for a week. Decoy snow truck rescues come too soon amid OMG boys admitting they are scared and people peeing themselves. The idea of jumping down is interesting, and frostbite, frozen appendages, critical gloves, and dropped gear are eventually addressed. However, the irony of breaking off an icicle to drink is never mentioned, nobody’s butt ever gets numb, and the danger is not as intense as it should be due to increasingly unrealistic turns. Though quality, painful screams and injury gore can’t overcome improbable wolf suspense and the stupidity of jumping legs first into an iced nighttime snowbank. You can’t use a snowboard to set a broken leg? Why didn’t they initially use their gear to zipline back down the lift instead of waiting to go by hand after its frozen? A big deal is made of smoking and matches to start but no one considers starting a signal fire? Can they still sue if they bribed the operator and were never really supposed to be there in the first place? Several intense moments can’t save this not very well thought out script – another pair of eyes to point out the unbelievable errors or a stronger cast could have made the chill zing. I would rather have had the bleak silence and the realism of not seeing the actors’ faces if it meant they actually zipped their hoods up all the way. Ultimately, the audience is given no reason to care and what should be a thrilling horror drama is more like a parable on how not to be a hipster skiing ass.