Jul 31, 2013

HALLOWEEN 35th


For the 35th Anniversary Edition release, Anchor Bay and Trancas went back to the vaults to present the film as never before, creating an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by the film's original cinematographer, Academy Award-nominee Dean Cundey (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Apollo 13, the Back to the Future trilogy), a new 7.1 audio mix (as well as the original mono audio), a brand-new feature length audio commentary by writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis, an all-new bonus feature with Ms. Curtis, and select legacy bonus features from previous ABE releases. The new release is being made available in collectible limited-edition DigiBook packaging (only for the first printing), with 20 pages of archival photos, an essay by Halloween historian Stef Hutchinson and specially commissioned cover art by Jay Shaw.
"Anchor Bay Entertainment has been home to Halloween for almost 20 years," noted Malek Akkad, President of Trancas International Films and son of Moustapha Akkad. "I'm so happy that we're partnering with them to present the definitive edition of what is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal horror films of the 20th century."

Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition features 1080p video, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and Original Mono audio tracks, and the following extras:

  • All-new commentary track with writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis
  • "The Night She Came Home" new featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis (HD)
  • On Location
  • Trailers
  • TV & Radio Spots
  • Additional Scenes from TV Version



This sucker streets September 24. While I am glad we're finally getting an approved transfer from Dean Cundey, I remain cautiously optimistic about which older extras they'll be porting over. That feature-length doc from previous releases better be in place. Still iffy on the artwork, but it's growing on me.

And bring on that new commentary. Criterion's old one was good, but I hate that spliced-together approach. Put 'em in the same room, I say.

Jul 30, 2013

THE VOICE

About six years ago my brother lived in a house in North Miami, Oklahoma. He would sit in his living room and watch TV at night and occasionally feel a presence in the hallway.

His six-month-old daughter slept in the room to the right side of the hallway. Weeks went by and he felt more disturbed by this presence. He would walk into his daughter's room (she would wake up crying in the middle of the night for no reason) and feel unnaturally cold.

So he told my mother, her friend, and I about what was happening. We came over one night when everyone was gone and brought two baby monitors. We put one in my niece's room and one in the living room with us.

After some time the flame of the candle we had lit began to sway. No wind was in the house. We talked to the monitor, hoping to get a response. After some time we heard old-style music and a voice say, "You don't know what hell is like."

It freaked us out and we ran out of the house frantically. We only went back after my uncle (a former priest) blessed the house. We later found out that an elderly man had lived in the house. He had also died in this house. 

He hung himself in my niece's room.

Story source.

Jul 29, 2013

SHITTY FLICKS: SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK

Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis. 

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up. 


Spring Break Town, USA. A place for all kids 18-25 to gather together and dance the night away Just...dance and dance! And if the beach gets old, jam on over to Dance Island! And if the island gets old, grab your boom box and rock the fuck on down to a Dance Beach House for more dancing! Last, but not least, charter a boat, and thrust those hips to some Black Eyed Peas or whatever bullshit idiots today listen to! The key to spring break is to never ever stop dancing, because if you do, you'll be eaten by sharks. And if your gyrating ass is starring in Spring Break Shark Attack, then you're dancing your tramp-stamps off.

Our movie opens with a boring, plain blonde girl wishing so very desperately to go party with her friends in Florida. Her father, who has affairs, knows that guys during Spring Break want one thing: probably sex. He doesn't actually say it, but he does call them "sharks!"

Get it?

According to father, Spring Break is nothing but "jello wrestling in kiddie pools." Since father fucks other women, I guess he knows about this stuff.

Thanks, father.

Blonde girl resents her stupid father for fucking around, and she brings it up at the breakfast table in response to her father's unwillingness to budge on this spring break matter, which - affair or no - should have resulted in a backhand that would have pleased Joan Crawford.

Blonde girl lies to adulterous father and goes to Florida anyway. In Florida, she meets up with nerd Charlie, her brother and marine biologist, who sits out on the ledge of his boat, discussing the very real possibility that the area is currently flooded with blood thirsty tiger sharks, as he wades his feet in the water.

She also meets Boat Engine Boy, who can fix any boat engine while simultaneously wasting his life. Boat Engine Boy and his mother discuss how she can't afford to send him to college, even though they live in Florida on the water and own several boats and a boat renting business.

Don’t let their hardened faces fool you.
These kids can smile and dance like it’s nobody’s business.

Blonde girl meets up with her equally vapid friends who, before whisking her off to the beach, try on many many hats and laugh, because a lot of hats in one room is really just so god damned funny.

While on the beach, as per father, she sees two girls wrestling in a kiddie pool of jello. One of her friends says, "Cool!" while another says, "Hey, I wanna do that!"

Then I probably get boners.

Blonde girl eventually meets JT, her eventual attempted raper. He wears a sharktooth necklace because this movie is anything but subtle. JT and his heterosexual friend, Crab Claws, are making a "Girls Unleashed" video.

And just like this movie, it turns out to be pretty unentertaining and very misleading. In this video about girls removing their clothes, a girl licks her lips and is about to remove her top, but the camera suddenly spins around to capture the reaction of the horndog cameraman, shrieking with joy.

Why bother creating a naked girls compilation video if you're going to show your own face during the raunchy part?

Why bother watching Spring Break Shark Attack?

There are no answers.

Charlie discusses with his friend about his new huge thinger he created that emits some kind of sonar that sharks don’t like and makes them swim away. If you’re stroking your chin beard and wondering if this random invention may come back to play later on in the movie, then I would have to accuse of already having seen the film.

It wasn't until they had been on the water for
three hours when JT noticed that Heather
was actually a mannequin.

Later, there is a huge random party, and blonde girl gets a drug dropped into her drink. She later wanders away to roll around a bed and moan, and then call her father and tell him exactly what happened. JT finds her sprawled out on the bed, aims his wang for her vagina, and goes full steam ahead.

But uh oh!

Boat Engine Boy shows up and the two boys share a very awkward conversation that can be translated as:

- "Were you going to fuck an asleep girl?"
- "Yes. I mean, no. I mean, I came here for some bean dip. Where's the bean dip? Hey, this isn't my house. Later."

Crab Claws and his girlfriend have a tiff, so Crab Claws jerks to the water with some random floozy. And then it's time to meet Mr. Carcaradon.

Ha ha, ow!

Later, this fun-loving white-skinned group charter one of Boat Engine Boy’s vessels, and he takes them out on the water. At this point, JT and Boat Engine boy, it is pretty clear, don’t like each other. Probably because JT is a raper and Boat Engine boy looks fucking thirteen.

During this dance party, the sharks attack and the kids are forced to beach the boat on a far away shore, where they impossibly find Crab Claws' half-a-body. Someone screams, and then we cut to where a commercial used to be.

We finally come back and uh-oh, seems like Bryan Brown, a local boat renter, gets the plot going, admitting that he has been chumming the waters on his rival's beach in order to attract sharks and scare people away back to the beach where his business is at.

What's more ironic is that Boat Engine Boy's mom had been so desperate for cash that she often rented out her own boats to Brian Brown on those early mornings when he was dumping fish guts! Oh, how deceptive of you, Bryan Brown.

For a few dollars, or for the rest of that
bag of chips, Bryan Brown would be
pleased to pose for a picture.

No time for pussy self-realization, as the sharks attack. Their fins zig-zag through the water (and actually pass through each other at one point like ghosts, via some horrendous CGI). A decent amount of people are eaten. A decent amount of sharks are not seen.

The climax of the film finds the shallow beaches of Spring Break Town, USA, mobbed with shark attacks. Many, many fins are seen decimating a large crowd of kids.

Boat Engine Boy, the most unlikely hero you'll ever see, takes a boat out a few hundred yards from the massacre and begins chumming the waters, while bellowing, "Come get some food, SHARKS."

The sharks, using those ears located just below their party hats, hear this command and swim away from all that bloody meat-filled water they're in to be in the bloody water where the boat and some small fish float around.

Note: Honestly, sharks may "attack" humans by accident, and eat weird trash items, but they're not as retarded as this movie makes them out to be. Please, give them some credit.

Blonde Girl and Boat Engine Boy share an Eskimo kiss
after she agrees to cosign on his new jeep.

After the sharks ram the boat, Blonde Girl accidentally fires off a harpoon she was holding and shoots Boat Engine Boy through the shoulder and he falls down.

And I laugh, wishing Curly Howard were here to complete the scene with a decent belly flop and kick-turn.

Luckily, Nerd Charlie has used this time to drop his chemistry set and plummet his shark repellent thinger into the water, and the sharks instantly haul-ass out of there. Just in time, for Blonde Girl, down below trying to unclog the boat motor, was almost shark bait. Thank God she lived, what with me not even remembering her name.

In the end, the sharks are repelled, Nerd Charlie realizes his shark repellent thinger works, and Blonde Girl and her adulterous father forgive each other.

Even Bryan Brown is scolded by boat engine boy's mom for his wicked ways and his manipulating of God's creatures. Everyone has learned a lesson, it seems.

And haven't we?

No, we haven't.

Except, if you're going to attempt to rape a girl during Spring Break, don't do it during a ginormous party. You'll get caught by Boat Engine Boy, who will punch you.

Jul 27, 2013

ANNOYING THE HOUSE OF THE CONJURING

 
BURRILLVILLE – Norma Sutcliffe does not believe in ghosts or haunted houses, but she says The Conjuring, last week’s Number 1 box office cinema megahit, has put her in a horror movie of her own. 
The Conjuring boasts of being “based on a true story” that happened in the 1730s-era house in Harrisville where Sutcliffe and her husband have lived for 25 years. Previous owners of the home, the Perron family, are the subjects of the movie. Sutcliffe said she had conversations with Andrea Perron, who wrote a trilogy of books about the supposed haunting she and her family endured before the movie went into production. She regrets even doing that now.

“We haven’t slept in days,” Sutcliffe told
The Call. “Because we wake up at 2 in the morning [and] there are people with flashlights in our yard.” People call on the phone and ask, “Is this The Conjuring house?” They have received other harassing phone calls as well, she said.

While the majority of the horror fans are probably just curious or harmless thrill-seekers, Sutcliffe worries that, “All it takes is one crazy to do something. There are already threats on the Internet that ‘wouldn’t it be fun to break into that house?’ Our barn is very vulnerable and there is a big story connected to the barn about supposed hangings. Can you see kids breaking in and doing a sĂ©ance with candles and having it burn down?”

...
 She said they are not connected with the movie in any way and have received no compensation at all. “All we get is the consequences. It is not our story but we are the ones who are suffering.” She said she has considered buying a gun. “I’m up in the middle of the night screaming at people to get off the property.”
...
Sutcliffe said she has seen the movie. “I just laughed at the whole thing. I thought it was so ironically ridiculous. I thought it was an insult to the Perrons."
Burn!

Jul 26, 2013

HAUNTING THE SET OF THE CONJURING

Based on true events, The Conjuring is an upcoming horror flick about a Rhode Island family terrorized by evil spirits. A trailer for the film offers plenty of scares, but it seems the movie’s cast and crew experienced plenty of frights themselves. Production notes from Warner Bros. describe a number of the strange events that occurred during the making of The Conjuring.

Interference
The Conjuring is told from their perspective of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes often called Lorraine to discuss the case, though static frequently interrupted their conversations and the line had a habit of going dead. Though the Hayes were puzzled, Lorraine wasn’t surprised.

“We’re about to expose the dark side of the dark side, and it doesn’t want good to win,” Warren told the brothers. “I’m surprised there isn’t a lot more interference.”

Claw Marks
Actress Vera Farmiga, who plays Lorraine Warren in the film, was fascinated by the events in The Conjuring, but felt uneasy reading the script. Farmiga admits she wouldn’t read the script at home or at night and could only review the story in “fits and spurts,” lest she be overwhelmed by fear. One day, Farmiga opened her laptop and saw five claw marks slashed across the screen.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” the actress said. “I do know I hadn’t dropped the computer, and my children hadn’t stepped on it. So I gingerly closed it, put it away, and then my brain just went berserk.”

More at Ghosts 'N Ghouls.

Jul 25, 2013

REVIEW: EXHUMED


The blinking cursor. It's been on the screen for a long time. Because I have no idea what to write. Because I have no idea what it is I've just watched. Part black-and-white art film, part David Lynch-esque eccentricity, part circa Night of the Hunter and The Innocents golden-age cinema, Exhumed is nearly beyond proper description. What it is, is certainly an examination of damaged psyche. 

Debbie Rochon, the hardest working actress in all of horror showbiz, plays the Governess - the matriarchal head of a demented household populated by a band of eccentrics and misfits. When a "room" in their house opens up, a notice is placed at the local college advertising space for rent. When Chris (Michael Reed...of The Disco Exorcist!) responds to the ad, one of the household's occupants, Laura (Sarah Nicklin), becomes smitten with him. This doesn't sit well with the Governess, so she utilizes her own brand of "rules" in order to keep control. 

Meanwhile, you've got Matthew (Nathaniel Sylva), the father (?), whose favorite past time has him down in the cellar with his mannequins, finding the right positions so they all perfectly encapsulate their household occupant's counterpart - right down to Chris' mysterious black eye, or his extended wine glass. When you add Rocki, a smart-ass siren who walks around in a slinky silk robe, and Lance, a seeming man child, you've got the dysfunctional family to end all dysfunctional families.


Except for Chris, every character in Exhumed is some level of insane. And though they all accept their familial roles, they aren't a "family" per se - more like a group of deranged individuals who somehow found each other and have managed to make a home. You've got the quibbling husband and wife dynamic, as well as the older and younger sister relationship, in which the former encourages the younger to exit her shell and experience more of the "adult" aspects of life. Only they're all out of their fucking minds, so, these dynamics are pushed to nearly merciless limits.

The most interesting parts of the film find Laura lost in her own made-up world where Chris wears a fine tuxedo and speaks to her as if he were Cary Grant. Really, her mind creates a world for her plucked from a film right out of the 1930s - even down to the antiquated (perhaps library) musical choices. Cigarette smoke smolders and the two share a rather beautiful bond; this is the world in which Laura wants to exist, not the "real" one, in which Chris lies - quite dead - in her bed.

Shot beautifully and confidently in black and white (utilizing color only for flashback sequences, of which there are many), director Richard Griffin (The Disco Exorcist again!) never hesitates to put forth his vision for how this film should look and how its characters should convey their own unique brands of psychosis. The Governess, for instance, isn't afraid to brandish a knife or a hammer to dispatch any unwanted guests, and Laura isn't afraid of a little... necrophilia...

Exhumed is just odd - there's no getting around that. It's flawed, but impulsively watchable. Even as the acting teeters between weak and just fine, and even as the film threatens to get lost in its own style as it occasionally becomes a bit heavy-handed, you do want to keep watching. It's the most fucked-up family you'll have cared about since your own.


A filmmaker's strength can shine through the lowest of budgets, regardless of whether his or her film is a success. Confidence and a steady hand are always obvious, and Richard Griffin has both. It is a decidedly far more subtle approach for the filmmaker than some of his previous efforts, and it's one I wish had been provided with just a bit more funding. The cast here is mostly fine, but a better one could have propelled this to the next level.

Still, check it out if you're in the mood for something dark and a little bleak. It's the stuff of fever nightmares.

Jul 24, 2013

LIVING DOLLS

A historian has been arrested in central Russia after police found the corpses of 29 women, dressed as dolls, in his apartment, authorities said this week.

The 45-year-old man, who police did not identify, has been charged with desecrating bodies and graves, officials said.

Video released by police showed an eerie collection of what looks like life-sized dolls, outfitted in shabby dresses and headscarves, their hands and faces wrapped in fabric. Authorities say the man also stole clothes from the graves when he took the bodies.

Even seasoned investigators and forensic experts were shocked when their investigation led them to the historian and the contents of his apartment, where the women’s mummified bodies were found. The corpses were those of women who died between the ages of 15 to 25, officials said.

Gribakin also said during the search the police found “photographs and plaques from gravestones, doll-making manuals as well as maps of local cemeteries.”







Story source.

Jul 22, 2013

MISSING

These images record the last remaining sighting of 11-year-old Maisle Deacon. They were taken by her sister, Isabelle, on the morning of October 23rd. According to Isabelle, Maisle had been talking to an unseen person in the afternoon. When Isabelle, an amateur photographer, went outside to investigate, Maisle began to struggle as if somebody was holding her against her will. Amused by Maisle's seemingly innocuous antics, Isabelle photographed her sister, only to be knocked unconscious by what she described as a blunt gust. Isabelle was found against a tree, cradling the very same skull depicted in the photographs. Later dental record analysis confirmed that the skull belonged to none other than Maisle Deacon herself. The cloaked figure has never been identified.

Jul 20, 2013

#NIGHTMARES

Received this fun little message the other day from the folks behind the upcoming video release of Frances Ford Coppola's Twixt:
We just launched an aggregation of the creepiest, most twisted images on the web, offering horror fans a disturbing place to come and see anything and everything to give them nightmares at TwixtNightmares.com

Users will just need to hashtag #nightmare from their Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr account for their pics and posts to be a part of the site. I’m reaching out because I think your audience would have fun looking through the site and trying to top the pictures on there by looking for something even creepier.
 I'll play!

Jul 19, 2013

SUICIDEMOUSE.AVI

Do any of you remember those Mickey Mouse cartoons from the 1930s? The ones that were just put out on DVD a few years ago? Well, I hear there is one that was unreleased to even the most avid classic Disney fans. According to sources, it's nothing special. It's just a continuous loop (like "The Flinstones") of Mickey walking past 6 buildings that goes on for two or three minutes before fading out. Unlike the cutesy tunes put in, though, the song on this cartoon was not a song at all, just a constant banging on piano keys for a minute and a half before going to white noise for the remainder of the film. It wasn't the jolly old Mickey we've come to love, either - Mickey wasn't dancing, not even smiling, just kind of walking, as if you or I were walking, with a normal facial expression, but for some reason his head tilted side to side as he kept this dismal look. Up until a year or two ago, everyone believed that, after it cut to black, that was it. When Leonard Maltin was reviewing the cartoon to be put in the complete series, he decided it was too junky to be on the DVD, but wanted to have a digital copy due to the fact that it was a creation of Walt. When he had a digitized version up on his computer to look at the file, he noticed something: The cartoon was actually 9 minutes and 4 seconds long. This is what my source emailed to me, in full. (He is a personal assistant to one of the higher executives at Disney, and an acquaintance of Mr. Maltin himself):
After it cut to black, it stayed like that until the 6th minute, before going back into Mickey walking. The sound was different this time. It was a murmur. It wasn't a language, but more like a gurgled cry. As the noise got more indistinguishable and loud over the next minute, the picture began to get weird. The sidewalk started to go in directions that seemed impossible based on the physics of Mickey's walking. And the dismal face of the mouse was slowly curling into a smirk. On the 7th minute, the murmur turned into a bloodcurdling scream (the kind of scream painful to hear) and the picture was getting more obscure. Colors were happening that shouldn't have been possible at the time. Mickey's face began to fall apart. His eyes rolled on the bottom of his chin like two marbles in a fishbowl, and his curled smile was pointing upward on the left side of his face. The buildings became rubble floating in midair and the sidewalk was still impossibly navigating in warped directions. Mr. Maltin got disturbed and left the room, sending an employee to finish the video and take notes of everything happening up until the last second, and afterward, immediately stored the disc of the cartoon into the vault. This distorted screaming lasted until 8 minutes and a few seconds in, and then it abruptly cuts to the Mickey Mouse face at the credits of the end of every video with what sounded like a broken music box playing in the background. This happened for about 30 seconds, and whatever was in that remaining 30 seconds I haven't been able to get a sliver of information. From a security guard working under me who was making rounds outside of that room, I was told that after the last frame, the employee stumbled out of the room with pale skin saying, "Real suffering is not known," 7 times before speedily taking the guard's pistol and offing himself on the spot. The only thing I could get out of Leonard Maltin was that the last frame was a piece of Russian text that roughly said, "The sights of hell bring its viewers back in." As far as I know, no one else has seen it, but there have been dozens of attempts at getting the file on Rapidshare by employees inside the studios, all of whom have been promptly terminated of their jobs. Whether it got online or not is up for debate, but if rumors serve me right, it's online somewhere under "suicidemouse.avi." If you ever find a copy of the film, I want you to never view it, and to contact me by phone immediately, regardless of the time. When a Disney death is covered up as well as this, it means this has to be something huge. 

Jul 18, 2013

THE BODIES OF EVEREST

Of the­ 189 people who have died in their attempts [to climb Mount Everest], an estimated 120 of them remain there. This is a gruesome reminder to those who attempt to reach the summit of just how perilous it can be. The simple reason that the bodies of dead climbers are scattered about Mount Everest is that it's too dangerous and difficult to try to remove them. Reaching the summit of Everest is a physical challenge unlike any other on Earth. To attempt to bring a dead body or a stranded climber down would take too long and likely leave the climbing team stranded overnight. This makes rescue attempts virtually suicidal.

Most of the bodies are located in the "Death Zone," the area above the final base camp at 26,000 feet (8,000 meters). No one has ever studied the cause of death, but fatigue and the elements certainly play a large part. Many of the bodies are frozen in time, the corpses in tact with climbing rope still around their waists. Other bodies lie in various states of decay. Some bodies are given names and are landmarks, such as "Green Boots," who has been there since 1996.

Jul 17, 2013

UNSUNG HORRORS: EVENT HORIZON

Every once in a while, a genuinely great horror movie—one that would rightfully be considered a classic, had it gotten more exposure and love at the box office—makes an appearance. It comes, no one notices, and it goes. But movies like this are important. They need to be treasured and remembered. If intelligent, original horror is supported, then that's what we'll begin to receive, in droves. We need to make these movies a part of the legendary genre we hold so dear. Because these are the unsung horrors. These are the movies that should have been successful, but were instead ignored. They should be rightfully praised for the freshness and intelligence and craft that they have contributed to our genre.

So, better late than never, we’re going to celebrate them now… one at a time.

Dir. Paul W.S. Anderson
Paramount Pictures
1997
United States

“I created the Event Horizon to reach the stars, but she's gone much, much farther than that. She tore a hole in our universe, a gateway to another dimension—a dimension of pure chaos. Pure... evil. When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was alive. Look at her, Miller. Isn't she beautiful?”

Event Horizon is a very interesting film, and not just as far as its story goes. Coming from the director of the Resident Evil franchise, the remake of Death Race, and a poorly modernized (and 3D) adaptation of The Three Musketeers, it is one of Paul (W.) (S.) Anderson’s rare features of which the material was original. Event Horizon was not based on any kind of pre-existing material (influences notwithstanding). It was not a video game, a comic, a 1950s TV series. It was birthed entirely from an original screenplay. (Back in 1997, this actually happened from time to time, if you can believe it.)

But that’s not the only reason this is interesting. It’s also interesting because this is the kind of film a director makes after having made the remakes, the adaptations, the video game romps (if we’re allowed to ignore Mortal Kombat, which is still cited as perhaps the best video game adaption to date…which ain’t sayin’ much). This is a film that filmmakers with an insane, jump-cutting, speed-ramping style make after they’ve calmed down, aged, and matured. It’s more intimate than anything he’s ever done, features the best actors of his talent pool, and, perhaps while not quite subtle, is restrained in every way a genuinely good genre film should be.

It just so happens that it was made very early on Anderson’s career – his third feature, if we’re counting, and the second people actually saw. Some filmmakers start off calm and eventually lose their minds (Tony Scott, for example); other filmmakers start off insane and eventually cool with age (David Cronenberg, perhaps). Paul Anderson belongs in that first group, which is a sad thing. If we could turn back time, I would have walked out of Event Horizon and been tremendously excited to see what else this unknown filmmaker might bring us in the future of horror. I’d only be left consistently underwhelmed, and even befuddled.


The year is 2047. Captain Miller of the Lewis and Clark (Laurence Fishburne) has been given a very unexpected assignment. He and his crew are to transport Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) on a find-and-rescue mission to locate the Event Horizon—a ship that had vanished without a trace years prior. Naturally Miller and his crew find the assignment to be a nonsense fool’s errand. The Event Horizon was a research ship that was gone—plain and simple—and if were to be found, it would’ve been already.

But then Dr. Weir tells them the truth: The Event Horizon was actually a secret government project out to create a vessel that could travel faster than the speed of light—specifically, it had the power to fold space-time and create gateways, through which the ship could traverse at a rapid rate. The hook for Miller and his crew came when Weir tells them a transmission believed to be coming from the Event Horizon was received. Naturally, the crew becomes instantly intrigued. They track the source of those transmissions and nearly crash right into her; the Event Horizon looms seemingly out of nowhere. She is a gigantic cube-shaped vessel connected by long corridors and intricate designs.

The crew boards the ship and find a massacre—literally. Dead bodies, long frozen over, float throughout the ship. Droplets of blood hang in the gravityless air. “This place is a tomb,” Captain Miller laments.

And then they find the video: the final transmission from the crew of the Event Horizon before they vanished for decades. Based on the monstrous and animalistic beings to which the crew devolves, it’s clear something horrible has happened on board the Event Horizon. As a man holds out his own ripped-out eyeballs and offers them to the camera, it’s clear there’s more than just a case of cabin fever going on. And it would seem the crew of the Lewis & Clark are the next unfortunate individuals to find out just what happened.


Space movies have never really been my thing. I couldn’t say why. You’d think a place that’s constantly nighttime would be pretty awesome to a weirdo like me, but I just never found it an interesting place to set a story. This is probably why I was never into any of the Star sagas – Wars, Trek, or Mummy. I like the Alien series, and Spaceballs. That’s about it.

Yet I love Event Horizon. Essentially a combination of The Shining, Flatliners, Hellraiser, and a little bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey thrown in for good measure, Event Horizon features (for once) an adult cast filled with known and respected actors, psychological terror, gory set pieces, and a very “fucked” ship. The emphasis here is entirely on story. It wears its influences with great pride (Sam Neill is clearly channeling Jack Torrance), but it’s so unique and removed enough from other space-set films that it becomes its own beast. Our characters are actually fleshed out and given back-stories. Weir, Miller, and Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) are saddled with emotional baggage that the Event Horizon is quick to exploit: Weir is haunted by his wife’s suicide; Miller feels remorse for a man under his command that died while they were stationed on another ship; Peters has a disabled son waiting for her to come home, and it’s killing her that she can’t.

This kind of character care isn’t all entirely moody stuff, either. There’s a wonderful scene in the beginning where our entire cast is gathered around listening to Weir’s explanation about the Event Horizon, and each crew member of the Lewis & Clark introduces him/herself, offering their names and their role on the ship. Fantastic character actor Jason Isaacs introduces himself with an overly dramatic, yet simple, “D.J. … Trauma,” and the entire crew laughs at him—not because it’s particularly funny, but because we can easily ascertain from their response that they know him. They’ve been working with him for years, and have grown used to his theatricality and moodiness. They wouldn’t have expected him to respond in any other kind of way. And they must realize how odd and and dark he must seem to people who haven’t already been well familiar with him. Nor are they surprised by fellow crew member Justin answering Weir’s question of “What’s the shortest distance between two points?” with “A straight line.” Of course they expected this kind of answer—because they have been hearing these kinds of silly answers from him for years. Or when Cooper (Richard T. Jones) offers Lieutenant Starck (Joely Fisher) a cup of coffee and asks, “Do you want something hot and black inside you?” she disregards him with an eye-roll; she knows not to take offense because this is how Cooper rolls.

This is the easiest way to establish a genuine sense of camaraderie—or at least intimacy—in films, and so many writers/directors simply don’t get that. If you want your audience to buy your characters as real people, they need to seem like real people. Focus on the mundane everyday things. Because that’s what life is, and that’s when people seem the most real. And the crew of Event Horizon do.


The cast turns in great work. Fishburne is more bad-ass here than he ever was as Morpheus. His Captain Miller makes the expression “no-nonsense” look foolhardy. He’s a man who doesn’t just demand authority, but exudes it. When he speaks, you listen—which is exactly how a captain should sound. He’s level headed enough to call bullshit when he hears it, but he’s also grounded enough to know when even the most outlandish of claims might have an undercurrent of reality. He’s hard, but paternal—but also vulnerable to his guilt-ridden mind. Seeing such vulnerability in an otherwise tough-as-nails character allows you to realize the magnitude of the threat surrounding our characters. If Captain Miller is scared, then everyone’s fucked.

As great as Fishburne is—in Event Horizon, and in general—it’s Sam Neill who brings legitimacy to the film. His presence in nearly any film guarantees that, at the very least, it’s going to be interesting. In Event Horizon, he is having a great time, even under all the heavy prosthetics he eventually undergoes. He plays boring just as handily as he does operatic and out of his mind. I must say it’s pretty delightful watching him slowly lose his mind, dabble in madness, but then briefly come out of it, not knowing just how far off the deep end he’s gone. The Event Horizon, his creation, is calling him from the very first frame—even before he sets foot on the Lewis & Clark.

Paul Anderson shows immense faith in the material and it shows in his direction. The subtle side of his techniques easily bests his post-Resident Evil eye candy approach, but he also knows when to go for the throat. Famously, much of Event Horizon’s violence had to be cut down in order to avoid the kiss-of-death NC-17 rating—something ridiculous like 20 minutes were excised from the final film; sadly, his desire to release a director’s cut reinstating this footage will never come to pass, as its believed the footage has become unusable over the years. If Event Horizon as it stands represents the neutered version, it makes me curious to see an uncut version even more. Because Event Horizon is pretty gruesome. People are filleted, dissected, and mutilated. And in the lost footage of the Event Horizon’s previous crew, there are allusions to further bouts of hell-fueled bodily dismemberment, orgiastic madness, and a whole lot of Latin. (Images of the excised scenes can be found in the below embedded album.)



Event Horizon
is pulp at its finest and most legitimized. It’s unnerving and entertaining, and extremely rewarding. It’s a snapshot of the dying ‘90s, where decent horror was allegedly seldom seen. Paul Anderson proved one thing: he can do horror, and do it well—without leather, slow motion, bullet time, and everything else the MTV generation demands. Plus, you know your film hails from another time when you smash cut to credits and a Prodigy song.

“Wasn’t that fun?” Paul Anderson is asking us.

Yes, it was. But now I’ve got a question for you, Paul. Where the fuck did you go?

Jul 16, 2013

NO-END HOUSE

Let me start by saying that Peter Terry was addicted to heroin.

We were friends in college and continued to be after I graduated. Notice that I said "I". He dropped out after two years of barely cutting it. After I moved out of the dorms and into a small apartment, I didn't see Peter as much. We would talk online every now and then (AIM was king in pre-Facebook years). There was a period where he wasn't online for about five weeks straight. I wasn't worried. He was a pretty notorious flake and drug addict, so I assumed he just stopped caring. Then one night I saw him log on. Before I could initiate a conversation, he sent me a message.

"David, man, we need to talk."

That was when he told me about the NoEnd House. It got that name because no one had ever reached the final exit. The rules were pretty simple and cliche: reach the final room of the building and you win $500. There were nine rooms in all. The house was located outside the city, roughly four miles from my house. Apparently Peter had tried and failed. He was a heroin and who-knows-what-the-fuck addict, so I figured the drugs got the best of him and he wigged out at a paper ghost or something. He told me it would be too much for anyone. That it was unnatural.

I didn't believe him. I told him I would check it out the next night and no matter how hard he tried to convince me otherwise, $500 sounded too good to be true. I had to go. I set out the following night.

When I arrived, I immediately noticed something strange about the building. Have you ever seen or read something that shouldn't be scary, but for some reason a chill crawls up your spine? I walked toward the building and the feeling of uneasiness only intensified as I opened the front door.

My heart slowed and I let a relieved sigh leave me as I entered. The room looked like a normal hotel lobby decorated for Halloween. A sign was posted in place of a worker. It read, "Room 1 this way. Eight more follow. Reach the end and you win!" I chuckled and made my way to the first door.

The first area was almost laughable. The decor resembled the Halloween aisle of a K-Mart, complete with sheet ghosts and animatronic zombies that gave a static growl when you passed by. At the far end was an exit; it was the only door besides the one I entered through. I brushed through the fake spider webs and headed for the second room.

I was greeted by fog as I opened the door to room two. The room definitely upped the ante in terms of technology. Not only was there a fog machine, but a bat hung from the ceiling and flew in a circle. Scary. They seemed to have a Halloween soundtrack that one would find in a 99 cent store on loop somewhere in the room. I didn't see a stereo, but I guessed they must have used a PA system. I stepped over a few toy rats that wheeled around and walked with a puffed chest across to the next area.

I reached for the doorknob and my heart sank to my knees. I did not want to open that door. A feeling of dread hit me so hard I could barely even think. Logic overtook me after a few terrified moments, and I shook it off and entered the next room.

Room three is when things began to change.

On the surface, it looked like a normal room. There was a chair in the middle of the wood paneled floor. A single lamp in the corner did a poor job of lighting the area, casting a few shadows across the floor and walls. That was the problem. Shadows. Plural.

With the exception of the chair's, there were others. I had barely walked in the door and I was already terrified. It was at that moment that I knew something wasn't right. I didn't even think as I automatically tried to open the door I came through. It was locked from the other side.

That set me off. Was someone locking the doors as I progressed? There was no way. I would have heard them. Was it a mechanical lock that set automatically? Maybe. But I was too scared to really think. I turned back to the room and the shadows were gone. The chair's shadow remained, but the others were gone. I slowly began to walk. I used to hallucinate when I was a kid, so I wrote off the shadows as a figment of my imagination. I began to feel better as I made it to the halfway point of the room. I looked down as I took my steps and that's when I saw it.

Or didn't see it. My shadow wasn't there. I didn't have time to scream. I ran as fast as I could to the other door and flung myself without thinking into the room beyond.

The fourth room was possibly the most disturbing. As I closed the door, all light seemed to be sucked out and put back into the previous room. I stood there, surrounded by darkness, not able to move. I'm not afraid of the dark and never have been, but I was absolutely terrified. All sight had left me. I held my hand in front of my face and if I didn't know what I was doing, I would never have been able to tell. Darkness doesn't describe it. I couldn't hear anything. It was dead silence. When you're in a sound-proof room, you can still hear yourself breathing. You can hear yourself being alive.

I couldn't.

I began to stumble forward after a few moments, my rapidly beating heart the only thing I could feel. There was no door in sight. Wasn't even sure there was one this time. The silence was then broken by a low hum.

I felt something behind me. I spun around wildly but could barely even see my nose. I knew it was there, though. Regardless of how dark it was, I knew something was there. The hum grew louder, closer. It seemed to surround me, but I knew whatever was causing the noise was in front of me, inching closer. I took a step back; I had never felt that kind of fear. I can't really describe true fear. I wasn't even scared I was going to die; I was scared of what the alternative was. I was afraid of what this thing had in store for me. Then the lights flashed for a second and I saw it.

Nothing. I saw nothing and I know I saw nothing there. The room was again plunged into darkness and the hum became a wild screech. I screamed in protest; I couldn't hear this goddamn sound for another minute. I ran backwards, away from the noise, and fumbled for the door handle. I turned and fell into room five.

Before I describe room five, you have to understand something. I am not a drug addict. I have had no history of drug abuse or any sort of psychosis short of the childhood hallucinations I mentioned earlier, and those were only when I was really tired or just waking up. I entered the NoEnd House with a clear head.

After falling in from the previous room, my view of room five was from my back, looking up at the ceiling. What I saw didn't scare me; it simply surprised me. Trees had grown into the room and towered above my head. The ceilings in this room were taller than the others, which made me think I was in the center of the house. I got up off the floor, dusted myself off, and took a look around. It was definitely the biggest room of them all. I couldn't even see the door from where I was; various brush and trees must have blocked my line of sight with the exit.

Up to this point, I figured the rooms were going to get scarier, but this was a paradise compared to the last room. I also assumed whatever was in room four stayed back there. I was incredibly wrong.

As I made my way deeper into the room, I began to hear what one would hear if they were in a forest; chirping bugs and the occasional flap of birds seemed to be my only company in this room. That was the thing that bothered me the most. I heard the bugs and other animals, but I didn't see any of them. I began to wonder how big this house was. From the outside when I first walked up to it, it looked like a regular house. It was definitely on the bigger side, but this was almost a full forest in here. The canopy covered my view of the ceiling, but I assumed it was still there, however high it was. I couldn't see any walls, either. The only way I knew I was still inside was that the floor matched the other rooms: the standard dark wood paneling.

I kept walking, hoping that the next tree I passed would reveal the door. After a few moments of walking, I felt a mosquito fly onto my arm. I shook it off and kept going. A second later, I felt about ten more land on my skin at different places. I felt them crawl up and down my arms and legs and a few made their way across my face. I flailed wildly to get them all off but they just kept crawling. I looked down and let out a muffled scream - more of a whimper, to be honest. I didn't see a single bug. Not one bug was on me, but I could feel them crawl. I heard them fly by my face and sting my skin but I couldn't see a single one. I dropped to the ground and began to roll wildly. I was desperate. I hated bugs, especially ones I couldn't see or touch. But these bugs could touch me and they were everywhere.

I began to crawl. I had no idea where I was going; the entrance was nowhere in sight and I still hadn't even seen the exit. So I just crawled, my skin wriggling with the presence of those phantom bugs. After what seemed like hours, I found the door. I grabbed the nearest tree and propped myself up, mindlessly slapping my arms and legs to no avail. I tried to run, but I couldn't; my body was exhausted from crawling and dealing with whatever it was that was on me. I took a few shaky steps to the door, grabbing each tree on the way for support.

It was only a few feet away when I heard it. The low hum from before. It was coming from the next room and it was deeper. I could almost feel it inside my body, like when you stand next to an amp at a concert. The feeling of the bugs on me lessened as the hum grew louder. As I placed my hand on the doorknob, the bugs were completely gone but I couldn't bring myself to turn the knob. I knew that if I let go, the bugs would return and there was no way I would make it back to room four. I just stood there, my head pressed against the door marked six and my hand shakily grasping the knob. The hum was so loud I couldn't even hear myself pretend to think. There was nothing I could do but move on. Room six was next, and room six was Hell.

I closed the door behind me, my eyes held shut and my ears ringing. The hum was surrounding me. As the door clicked into place, the hum was gone. I opened my eyes in surprise and the door I had shut was gone. It was just a wall now. I looked around in shock. The room was identical to room three - the same chair and lamp - but with the correct amount of shadows this time. The only real difference was that there was no exit door and the one I came in through was gone. As I said before, I had no previous issues in terms of mental instability, but at that moment I fell into what I now know was insanity. I didn't scream. I didn't make a sound.

At first I scratched softly. The wall was tough, but I knew the door was there somewhere. I just knew it was. I scratched at where the doorknob was. I clawed at the wall frantically with both hands, my nails being filed down to the skin against the wood. I fell silently to my knees, the only sound in the room the incessant scratching against the wall. I knew it was there. The door was there, I knew it was just there. I knew if I could just get past this wall -

"Are you alright?"

I jumped off the ground and spun in one motion. I leaned against the wall behind me and I saw what it was that spoke to me; to this day I regret ever turning around.

There was a little girl. She was wearing a soft, white dress that went down to her ankles. She had long blonde hair to the middle of her back and white skin and blue eyes. She was the most frightening thing I had ever seen, and I know that nothing in my life will ever be as unnerving as what I saw in her. While looking at her, I saw something else. Where she stood I saw what looked like a man's body, only larger than normal and covered in hair. He was naked from head to toe, but his head was not human and his toes were hooves. It wasn't the Devil, but at that moment it might as well have been. The form had the head of a ram and the snout of a wolf.

It was horrifying and it was synonymous with the little girl in front of me. They were the same form. I can't really describe it, but I saw them at the same time. They shared the same spot in that room, but it was like looking at two separate dimensions. When I saw the girl I saw the form, and when I saw the form I saw the girl. I couldn't speak. I could barely even see. My mind was revolting against what it was attempting to process. I had been scared before in my life and I had never been more scared than when I was trapped in the fourth room, but that was before room six. I just stood there, staring at whatever it was that spoke to me. There was no exit. I was trapped here with it. And then it spoke again.

"David, you should have listened."

When it spoke, I heard the words of the little girl, but the other form spoke through my mind in a voice I won't attempt to describe. There was no other sound. The voice just kept repeating that sentence over and over in my mind and I agreed. I didn't know what to do. I was slipping into madness, yet couldn't take my eyes off what was in front of me. I dropped to the floor. I thought I had passed out, but the room wouldn't let me. I just wanted it to end. I was on my side, my eyes wide open and the form staring down at me. Scurrying across the floor in front of me was one of the battery-powered rats from the second room.

The house was toying with me. But for some reason, seeing that rat pulled my mind back from whatever depths it was headed and I looked around the room. I was getting out of there. I was determined to get out of that house and live and never think about this place again. I knew this room was Hell and I wasn't ready to take up a residency. At first, it was just my eyes that moved. I searched the walls for any kind of opening. The room wasn't that big, so it didn't take long to soak up the entire layout. The demon still taunted me, the voice growing louder as the form stayed rooted where it stood. I placed my hand on the floor, lifted myself up to all four and turned to scan the wall behind me.

Then I saw something I couldn't believe. The form was now right at my back, whispering into my mind how I shouldn't have come. I felt its breath on the back of my neck, but I refused to turn around. A large rectangle was scratched into the wood, with a small dent chipped away in the center of it. Right in front of my eyes I saw the large seven I had mindlessly etched into the wall. I knew what it was: room seven was just beyond that wall where room five was moments ago.

I don't know how I had done it - maybe it was just my state of mind at the time - but I had created the door. I knew I had. In my madness, I had scratched into the wall what I needed the most: an exit to the next room. Room seven was close. I knew the demon was right behind me, but for some reason it couldn't touch me. I closed my eyes and placed both hands on the large seven in front of me. I pushed. I pushed as hard as I could. The demon was now screaming in my ear. It told me I was never leaving. It told me that this was the end but I wasn't going to die; I was going to live there in room six with it. I wasn't. I pushed and screamed at the top of my lungs. I knew I was going to push through the wall eventually.

I clenched my eyes shut and screamed, and the demon was gone. I was left in silence. I turned around slowly and was greeted by the room as it was when I entered: just a chair and a lamp. I couldn't believe it, but I didn't have time to well. I turned back to the seven and jumped back slightly. What I saw was a door. It wasn't the one I had scratched in, but a regular door with a large seven on it. My whole body was shaking. It took me a while to turn the knob. I just stood there for a while, staring at the door. I couldn't stay in room six. I couldn't. But if this was only room six, I couldn't imagine was seven had in store. I must have stood there for an hour, just staring at the seven. Finally, with a deep breath, I twisted the knob and opened the door to room seven.

I stumbled through the door mentally exhausted and physically weak. The door behind me closed and I realized where I was. I was outside. Not outside like room five, but actually outside. My eyes stung. I wanted to cry. I fell to my knees and tried but I couldn't. I was finally out of that hell. I didn't even care about the prize that was promised. I turned and saw that the door I just went through was the entrance. I walked to my car and drove home, thinking of how nice a shower sounded.

As I pulled up to my house, I felt uneasy. The joy of leaving NoEnd House had faded and dread was slowly building in my stomach. I shook it off as residual from the house and made my way to the front door. I entered and immediately went up to my room. There on my bed was my cat, Baskerville. He was the first living thing I had seen all night and I reached to pet him. He hissed and swiped at my hand. I recoiled in shock, as he had never acted like that. I thought, "Whatever, he's an old cat." I jumped in the shower and got ready for what I was expecting to be a sleepless night.

After my shower, I went to the kitchen to make something to eat. I descended the stairs and turned into the family room; what I saw would be forever burned into my mind, however. My parents were lying on the ground, naked and covered in blood. They were mutilated to near-unidentifiable states. Their limbs were removed and placed next to their bodies, and their heads were placed on their chests facing me. The most unsettling part was their expressions. They were smiling, as though they were happy to see me. I vomited and sobbed there in the family room. I didn't know what had happened; they didn't even live with me at the time. I was a mess. Then I saw it: a door that was never there before. A door with a large eight scrawled on it in blood.

I was still in the house. I was standing in my family room but I was in room seven. The faces of my parents smiled wider as I realized this. They weren't my parents; they couldn't be, but they looked exactly like them. The door marked eight was across the room, behind the mutilated bodies in front of me. I knew I had to move on, but at that moment I gave up. The smiling faces tore into my mind; they grounded me where I stood. I vomited again and nearly collapsed. Then the hum returned. It was louder than ever and it filled the house and shook the walls. The hum compelled me to walk.

I began to walk slowly, making my way closer to the door and the bodies. I could barely stand, let alone walk, and the closer I got to my parents the closer I came to suicide. The walls were now shaking so hard it seemed as though they were going to crumble, but still the faces smiled at me. As I inched closer, their eyes followed me. I was now between the two bodies, a few feet away from the door. The dismembered hands clawed their way across the carpet towards me, all while the faces continued to stare. New terror washed over me and I walked faster. I didn't want to hear them speak. I didn't want the voices to match those of my parents. They began to open their mouths and the hands were inches from my feet. In a dash of desperation, I lunged toward the door, threw it open, and slammed it behind me. Room eight.

I was done. After what I had just experienced, I knew there wasn't anything else this fucking house could throw at me that I couldn't live through. There was nothing short of the fires of Hell that I wasn't ready for. Unfortunately, I underestimated the abilities of NoEnd House. Unfortunately, things got more disturbing, more terrifying, and more unspeakable in room eight.

I still have trouble believing what I saw in room eight. Again, the room was a carbon copy of rooms three and six, but sitting in the usually empty chair was a man. After a few seconds of disbelief, my mind finally accepted the fact that the man sitting in the chair was me. Not someone who looked like me; it was David Williams. I walked closer. I had to get a better look even though I was sure of it. He looked up at me and I noticed tears in his eyes.

"Please... please, don't do it. Please, don't hurt me."

"What?" I asked. "Who are you? I'm not going to hurt you."

"Yes you are..." He was sobbing now. "You're going to hurt me and I don't want you to." He sat in the chair with his legs up and began rocking back and forth. It was actually pretty pathetic looking, especially since he was me, identical in every way.

"Listen, who are you?" I was now only a few feet from my doppelgänger. It was the weirdest experience yet, standing there talking to myself. I wasn't scared, but I would be soon. "Why are you-"

"You're going to hurt me you're going to hurt me if you want to leave you're going to hurt me."

"Why are you saying this? Just calm down, alright? Let's try and figure this-" And then I saw it. The David sitting down was wearing the same clothes as me, except for a small red patch on his shirt embroidered with the number nine.

"You're going to hurt me you're going to hurt me don't please you're going to hurt me..."

My eyes didn't leave that small number on his chest. I knew exactly what it was. The first few doors were plain and simple, but after a while they got a little more ambiguous. Seven was scratched into the wall, but by my own hands. Eight was marked in blood above the bodies of my parents. But nine - this number was on a person, a living person. Worse still, it was on a person that looked exactly like me.

"David?" I had to ask.

"Yes... you're going to hurt me you're going to hurt me..." He continued to sob and rock.

He answered to David. He was me, right down to the voice. But that nine. I paced around for a few minutes while he sobbed in his chair. The room had no door and, similarly to room six, the door I came through was gone. For some reason, I assumed that scratching would get me nowhere this time. I studied the walls and floor around the chair, sticking my head underneath and seeing if anything was below. Unfortunately, there was. Below the chair was a knife. Attached was a tag that read, "To David - From Management."

The feeling in my stomach as I read that tag was something sinister. I wanted to throw up and the last thing I wanted to do was remove that knife from under that chair. The other David was still sobbing uncontrollably. My mind was spinning into an attic of unanswerable questions. Who put this here and how did they get my name? Not to mention the fact that as I knelt on the cold wood floor I also sat in that chair, sobbing in protest of being hurt by myself. It was all too much to process. The house and the management had been playing with me this whole time. My thoughts for some reason turned to Peter and whether or not he got this far. If he did, if he met a Peter Terry sobbing in this very chair, rocking back and forth... I shook those thoughts out of my head; they didn't matter. I took the knife from under the chair and immediately the other David went quiet.

"David," He said in my voice, "What do you think you're going to do?"

I lifted myself from the ground and clenched the knife in my hand.

"I'm going to get out of here."

David was still sitting in the chair, though he was very calm now. He looked up at me with a slight grin. I couldn't tell if he was going to laugh or strangle me. Slowly, he got up from the chair and stood, facing me. It was uncanny. His height and even the way he stood matched mine. I felt the rubber hilt of the knife in my hand and gripped it tighter. I don't know what I was planning on doing with it, but I had a feeling I was going to need it.

"Now," his voice was slightly deeper than my own. "I'm going to hurt you. I'm going to hurt you and I'm going to keep you here." I didn't respond. I just lunged and tackled him to the ground. I had mounted him and looked down, knife poised and ready. He looked up at me, terrified. It was like I was looking in a mirror. Then the hum returned, low and distant, though I still felt it deep in my body. David looked up at me as I looked down at myself. The hum was getting louder and I felt something inside me snap. With one motion, I slammed the knife into the patch on his chest and ripped down. Blackness fell on the room and I was falling.

The darkness around me was like nothing I had experienced up to that point. Room four was dark, but it didn't come close to what was completely engulfing me. I wasn't even sure if I was falling after a while. I felt weightless, covered in dark. Then a deep sadness came over me. I felt lost, depressed, and suicidal. The sight of my parents entered my mind. I knew it wasn't real, but I had seen it and the mind has trouble differentiating between what is real and what isn't. The sadness only deepened. I was in room nine for what seemed like days. The final room. And that's exactly what it was: the end. NoEnd House had an end and I had reached it. At that moment, I gave up. I knew I would be in that in-between state forever, accompanied by nothing but darkness. Not even the hum was there to keep me sane.

I had lost all senses. I couldn't feel myself. I couldn't hear anything. Sight was completely useless here. I searched for a taste in my mouth and found nothing. I felt disembodied and completely lost. I knew where I was. This was Hell. Room nine was Hell. Then it happened. A light. One of those stereotypical lights at the end of the tunnel. I felt ground come up from below me and I was standing. After a moment or two of gathering my thoughts and senses, I slowly walked toward that light.

As I approached the light, it took form. It was a vertical slit down the side of an unmarked door. I slowly walked through the door and found myself back where I started: the lobby of NoEnd House. It was exactly how I left it: still empty, still decorated with childish Halloween decorations. After everything that had happened that night, I was still wary of where I was. After a few moments of normalcy, I looked around the place trying to find anything different. On the desk was a plain white envelope with my name handwritten on it. Immensely curious, yet still cautious, I mustered up the courage to open the envelope. Inside was a letter, again handwritten.

David Williams,

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of NoEnd House! Please accept this prize as a token of great achievement.

Yours forever,
Management.


With the letter were five $100 bills.

I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed for what seemed like hours. I laughed as I walked out to my car and laughed as I drove home. I laughed as I pulled into my driveway. I laughed as I opened my front door to my house and laughed as I saw the small ten etched into the wood.

Story source.

Image source.

Jul 14, 2013

THE BLACK DOLL

A single mother lived alone with her newborn baby. She was not able to work and she had no living relatives and no friends to help her, so she found it very difficult to cope on her own.

One day, the mother went out shopping for groceries and left her baby at home alone. On the way home, she met with an accident and was killed. She was not carrying any identification at the time and the police were unable to figure out who she was. Nobody came forward to claim her body, so she was buried in an unmarked grave. She had no living relatives, which meant that nobody noticed her disappearance.

Two months later, the dead mother’s landlord noticed that he hadn’t received any rent from her. He visited her house and knocked on the door. When nobody answered, he opened the front door using his duplicate key. He went inside and found the house was in complete darkness. The electricity had been cut off.

He walked around in the dark, going from room to room. All of the woman’s furniture and clothing was still there. In the bedroom, he found a black doll lying in the middle of the floor. 

“She must have left in a hurry,” he said to himself. “She didn’t take anything with her.”

Then he heard a rustling noise. It was coming from the black doll. He bent down to pick it up, but the moment he touched it, the doll crumbled apart in his hands. Hundreds of cockroaches scurried away. All that was left was the skeleton of a baby.

Jul 13, 2013

REVIEW: MY AMITYVILLE HORROR

 

It has taken something like nine or ten films with the word 'Amityville' in its title before we finally have something that is actually worth watching. Figures it should be a documentary approach to the alleged events that occurred in 112 Ocean Avenue in upstate New York, instead of a series of films whose events became increasingly overblown with each successive entry. Real life is always more terrifying than fiction, after all. (If you're somehow unaware of Amityville, catch up before reading on.)

My Amityville Horror is Daniel Lutz's story. The eldest child of Kathy Lutz (deceased) and step-son to George Lutz (also deceased), Daniel is still clearly haunted by the events that plagued his family for the 28 days in which they lived in the infamous house. And the scars are still certainly with him. Daniel bares his soul in more ways than one. He answers - open and honestly - every question lobbed at him, regardless of how ridiculous and unbelievable he knows his answers are going to sound. Not only that, but he allows cameras in on a session in which he discusses his childhood and the events of the house with his psychologist. At no point does he say "I won't talk about that;" likewise, he even snarls at the camera and says "I can't believe you're making me talk about this shit," before he goes on to answer whatever question it was that provoked such a response. It is an extremely intimate and unyielding look at the son of a horror.


Regardless of where your beliefs lie in terms of the Amityville house, My Amityville Horror proves to be incredibly interesting. Even if it were a work of utter fiction, Daniel is a compelling lead character. In a completely emotionally removed sort of way, there's a bastardized feeling of nostalgia one feels when hearing the eldest child reiterate some of the same stories the Lutz couple told all those years ago - in Jay Anson's book, and in all the subsequent newspaper articles and television specials that would follow. If you've followed the Amityville case in any capacity, you're aware of the fly-infested sewing room, the red-eyed pig demon, and the phantom marching band. But hearing all of these instances retold by a man who claims to have lived it as a child, and delivered in a no-holds-barred way, forces the viewer to reevaluate how he or she may feel about the claims. 

As to the legitimacy of the ghostly and demonic events themselves, I can't speculate, because I wasn't there. Neither were you. People being picked up and thrown across the room, or people becoming possessed by outside evil forces...instances like these are pretty unlikely, but not altogether impossible. Hence, that's the reason why I call Daniel Lutz a compelling lead. On the level or not, perhaps even deluded or not, Daniel's words carry weight. He does not present this information like an actor reading lines from a script. His anger, frustration, and tears make his stories of possession and telekinesis a little easier to swallow. But it is because of this anger that can sometimes make My Amityville Horror difficult to sit through. Daniel is oftentimes impatient with his interviewer. To watch his outbursts can be extremely uncomfortable, even while viewing the film with a thousand-mile buffer zone; I can only imagine the tension present between director Eric Walter and his subject during some of these moments. But because Daniel Lutz is a "real guy" and the documentary is exploring "real events," it would seem disposable to mention that at times Daniel's demeanor can make him unsympathetic. And that's kind of dangerous, considering he deserves your sympathy. This, however, is a slippery slope, because this is being presented as a true and unHollywood approach to telling the story of what "really" happened. As such, it's not like saying A-List Star's character in Such-a-Such movie comes across as unlikable, since that would have been an artistic choice. Daniel is who Daniel is. So while it may be unfair to claim he sometimes comes across as unsympathetic, it cannot go on unmentioned; plus, it does make him a more dynamic "character." (He's also really fond of offering Jim-from-The-Office-like amused glances directly into the camera.)


Those who previously delved into the so-called non-fiction aspects of the Amityville case won't find a whole lot of new information. As previously mentioned, you will hear a lot of the same old stories and become reacquainted with some old faces (I was anticipating seeing an appearance by Lorraine Warren and was not disappointed). But My Amityville Horror isn't about that - it's not about the hell the Lutz family went through then; it's about the hell Daniel is going through now, including a loss of identity and the feeling of being consistently disregarded and written off as the son continuing the farce began by his parents all those years ago.

Smartly, the doc takes an objective approach and allows the possibility that Daniel is simply fabricating his story - and these theories range from him being a pathological liar to having married his unhappy childhood with the claims his parents were weaving and, after a while, having no choice but to believe them.

The take-away theme of My Amityville Horror is two-fold: One - Daniel wanted to finally tell his own version of the story, because he feels he never got that chance; and two - he wants people to believe him. One of those was most certainly satisfied. Daniel's version of the story cuts through all of the baggage and reputation of the house and reveals what such events can do to a person. Not to speak ill of the dead, but in all of the vintage interviews featuring George and Kathy Lutz, even when they talked about leaving behind all their possessions and taking a huge financial hit in abandoning the house and living through the hell that they did, they never appeared broken. Granted, they never seemed ecstatic, but they did seem...okay.

Daniel Lutz does not. Whether the events at 112 Ocean Avenue happened or were a byproduct of an incredibly unhappy family situation, Daniel seems broken. Even when he seems to be okay, or even when someone asks him on camera how he is doing and he answers "fine," you know that's just simply not true. In fact, it may very well be the only purposeful lie Daniel tells in all of My Amityville Horror.

On DVD and VOD August 6.

Jul 12, 2013

THEIR HANDS


"...But those who toiled knew nothing of the dreams of those who planned. And the minds that planned the Tower of Babel cared nothing for the workers who built it..."

Jul 10, 2013

BAD OMEN

“It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and fast all day and there had been a great “hurrah, boys,” so that I was well tired out, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau with a swinging glass upon it (and here he got up and placed furniture to illustrate the position), and looking in that glass I saw myself reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again, I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler — say five shades — than the other. I got up, and the thing melted away, and I went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about it — nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few days afterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! the thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a “sign” that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.”
— Abraham Lincoln