Although it may be difficult to believe, horror fans recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of Sam Raimi's return to one of the creepiest cabins in cinema in Evil Dead II. To celebrate the seminal sequel, Sideshow Collectibles recently released an Ash Williams sixth scale figure that they sent our way, and fans can rest assured that this depiction of the iconic character is incredibly detailed, comes with awesome accessories, and is, above all else, groovy.
Genre favorite Joe Lynch gives corporate culture a double middle finger with his most recent project, Mayhem, an action-fueled social satire that ambitiously provides viewers with a wish fulfillment scenario: what if you had a free pass to act out your wildest, most perverse urges, simply because you no longer had any control over your own impulses? In this scenario, Lynch goes for broke and then some, as Mayhem is truly his most ambitious effort to date, offering up a ridiculously fun Thunderdome-esque situation where chaos ensues and nothing is off limits.
Ben Wheatley has been one of my favorite indie filmmakers over the last few years, with his consistently stellar and thought-provoking work on projects like Kill List, A Field in England, High-Rise, his contribution to The ABCs of Death anthology, as well as Sightseers, his dark comedy that’s one of my very favorite movies from the last five years. So from the get-go, once I heard about Free Fire, and the talent that Wheatley would be working with on his explosive actioner, I was admittedly 110% on board, sight unseen.
And, thankfully, Wheatley’s satirical send-up of society’s obsession with guns lived up to my lofty expectations (and then some), as he takes the one of the things we love most about action movies—the shootout scene—and stretches it into a hilariously violent character piece that’s as relentlessly paced as it is relentlessly funny.
In M.F.A., director Natalia Leite and writer/co-star Leah McKendrick effectively rip into the complexities of rape culture, specifically on college campuses, with their revenge thriller about an art student (Francesca Eastwood) whose frustrations mount when her school won’t do anything to help her after she’s attacked. Once Eastwood’s character, Noelle, realizes that she’s not the only who has suffered an injustice, she sets out to right the wrongs against herself and her fellow female classmates, taking out one abuser at a time.
With Madre, writer/director Aaron Burns explores the dangers of dismissing maternal instincts with a cautionary tale that’s part psychological thriller, part body horror, and 100% unnerving to watch.
Set in Perth, Australia, during December of 1987, it’s evident from Hounds of Love’s very first moments—a stunning slow-motion sequence of teenagers playing volleyball while a pair of onlookers watch from a distance—that writer/director Ben Young isn’t interested in giving us yet another horrific kidnapping thriller that relies on shocking violence or tortuous gore.
Syfy Films continues to expand into the theatrical arena with their new feature, Atomica, a character-driven science fiction drama about three people who are unsure if they can trust one another as they attempt to get a futuristic power station back online. With Atomica now out in select theaters and coming out on VOD and digital HD beginning March 21st, Daily Dead recently caught up with director Dagen Merrill for our latest Q&A feature to discuss realizing his vision on a budget, how to find hope within a bleak depiction of the future, and more.
Full disclosure: The Amityville Horror films do not make up my favorite franchise. And it has nothing to do with the central “haunted house” premise, but rather the execution of the series thus far, from the serviceable ground zero template, The Amityville Horror (1979) through the (as yet unseen) upcoming Amityville: The Awakening, with some stops in between at DTVville (not to mention the Ryan Reynolds remake; but I said not to mention, so not mention I shall). The name is so shopworn now that “Amityville” has become synonymous with “poopy”.
But, but, BUT…let’s rewind to a time when a follow up to the kind-of goofy James Brolin (and his glorious perm) starrer was actually anticipated. That film was a smash success at the box office, and the powers that be wanted to revisit the village of Amityville to see what other demons they could find in the basement. The result? 1982’s Amityville II: The Possession, a film that sets itself above (and apart) from the series by leaving a burning bag of Eurosleaze on the front doorstep, ringing the bell, and running away. And I mean that as a compliment.
A haunting, neon-soaked fever dream that tackles the dangers of viral media and loneliness, first-time director Robert Mockler’s drama, Like Me, was unlike anything else I saw during the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, and features brilliant performances from Addison Timlin as Kiya and indie filmmaking icon Larry Fessenden as a man she kidnaps on her crime-fueled journey.
For his feature film debut, UK director Joe Martin brazenly takes on the class divide of Britain in Us and Them, his crime thriller that follows a frustrated young man named Danny, played by Jack Roth, who takes out his anger on the wealthy and elite members of society by kidnapping a well-to-do family, which doesn’t go exactly as he planned.
We study history in order to understand the past, particularly its traumas, so we will not perpetuate them; yet how can we avoid our mistakes when we hardly acknowledge the impact of the ones we have already made?
Anyone who has spent countless hours stuck in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting, listening to their fellow employees prattle on about nonsense will find a lot to relate to in Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment, which takes the notion of office politics to explosive and viciously entertaining levels where no one is safe.
On the heels of their southern-fried crime caper’s premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, Daily Dead had the chance to sit down and chat with the lovable lunatics behind 68 Kill, including director Trent Haaga and the film’s stars Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord, Alisha Boe, and Sheila Vand.
Throughout his career, filmmaker Joe Lynch has given us fantastic movies that have spanned both the horror and action genres, including Wrong Turn 2, the "Zom-B-Movie" segment of Chillerama, Knights of Badassdom, Everly, and his latest movie, Mayhem, which recently enjoyed its world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.
Atomica, the new film from director Dagen Merrill, is a small-scale, character-based science fiction movie about two people stranded together in a single location and learning to live with one another while they both possibly conceal secrets. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it could also describe the Chris Pratt/Jennifer Lawrence vehicle, Passengers, from late 2016. I make this comparison not to suggest the former copied the latter—Atomica is no “mockbuster” imitation—but instead just to say that if I had to choose between Passengers and Atomica, I’d go with Atomica.