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    Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 24th, 2016

    For years (at this point we can say decades), fans have been holding out hope for a new installment in the Evil Dead franchise. Over the years there have been rumors of a fourth film, even talks of doing a crossover involving Ash (Bruce Campbell) taking on various horror icons.  In the end these talks seemed to be nothing more than pipe dreams, but then in 2013 something special happened.  A remake/sequel occurred for the series that actually was pretty awesome and gory while also being a financial success…but it was the stinger at the end of the credits that got people excited, the brief appearance of the man with the chainsaw hand himself.
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    The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 22nd, 2016

    The Vampire Diaries is finally living up to its name. Elena is asleep until Bonnie dies, so the characters have promised to keep a record of all the goings on in Mystic Falls and with their lives. And there’s a lot to write about. Mystic Falls has been evacuated so that Lily and her family of heretics won’t kill everybody in town. They’re living in the Salvatore mansion, and Carolyn is carrying twins that don’t really belong to her. And Damon…he’s just being…Damon. All of them are either trying to steal or running away from something called The Phoenix Stone. Elena’s going to have a lot of catching up to do, and so do you if you haven’t been watching all along.
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    Viral

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2016

    The setup for Viral is promising enough. Throughout the early part of the film, we get subtle yet effective hints at the escalating catastrophe that is about to infect the story. (We hear about someone’s mom coughing uncontrollably, plus a video of a bloody, unexplained elevator attack goes, well, “viral.”) So it’s a shame that this sci-fi/horror thriller is limited by both its micro-budget and (more importantly) a filmmaking team that only sporadically delivers the goods.
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    The Invitation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 29th, 2016

    It seems there have been a lot of horror films involving dinner parties that have gone wrong.  You’re Next may be the best example to take on this idea, and I have to admit to being a fan of the film. It was a fun hipster horror film that kept the story moving forward and delivered more than a fair share of violence and gore.  Then there was last year’s creepy gem The Gift, a film that captured the horror of the past coming back to haunt you.  When it comes to The Invitation, it’s a film that seems like a hodgepodge of both You’re Next and The Gift, but also a handful of other films.  It’s a film that feels so familiar, but as you watch it manages to avoid many of the stereotypical film tropes viewers have grown used to over the years.
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    Jeepers Creepers Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 6th, 2016

    “I don’t know if it’s a demon or a devil, or just some hungry thing from some dark place in time. I just know it’s not going to stop coming after you or anyone else it wants to. ‘Cos once it has the scent of something it likes, it can’t be stopped.” 

    Just days before the tragic events of 9/11 brought so much real-life horror into our lives, Victor Salva attempted to resurrect some old-school monster movie magic on the movie-going public. The low-budget thriller hit the box office with a bang. Its $13 million opening weekend was a record for Labor Day and is partly responsible for studios taking a closer look at the traditionally slow release weekend.
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    The Other Side Of The Door (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 5th, 2016

    We’ve all heard and seen the story before; a family loses a loved one and consumed with grief they meddle with unknown forces to see their loved ones again.  The Monkey’s Paw is one of my favorite stories that cover the topic. I’m sure everyone at some point had to read this short story in school.  Having read the story and seen the numerous films that have covered the topic, you’d think by now people would have learned to not mess with forces they don’t understand.  The Other Side of the Door is the new paranormal horror film to cover the subject, and it seems people still just haven’t learned. Is the film worth taking a look to see what lies beyond the door, or is this one better left alone?
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    10 Cloverfield Lane (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 15th, 2016

    Bad Robot, in my eyes, is simply the best at keeping things a secret.  In this day and age, to be able to surprise audiences is just about an impossible task.  When the first Cloverfield trailer was released in 2007 in front of Transformers, it was a trailer that had us all guessing up until its release.  In my opinion Cloverfield was one of the best found-footage films to come out and was a grand achievement, considering it was a monster film that had been pretty much been kept under wraps until its actual release.  Bad Robot managed to surprise us again, releasing a trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane that set the internet on fire with theories and hopes for this to be a long-awaited sequel.  But is that what this really is?
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    The Witch (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 19th, 2016

    After Robert Eggers received best director out of Sundance, The Witch became a film that went on my radar. Following the release of the trailer to the film I was hooked; its startling yet beautiful imagery was enough to get my attention.  As buzz built around the film as it continued to awe audiences in various festivals, my anticipation for this film was getting out of control.  Could a film really be this great? Is it possible to make a film that still shocks and terrifies audiences?  By the time I found myself getting to this screening, The Witch now was a film that unfairly had something to prove to me, I poked the bear and dared this film to blow me away. As the lights dimmed and the film played out, I came away with more than I asked for.
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    Backtrack (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 4th, 2016

    Whatever happened to the days of telling a story without having some kind of gimmick or need to have to have a twist in the plot to show the viewer just how clever you are?  I blame The Sixth Sense for this, because ever since the film came out it seems a requirement to be considered a thriller is you have to have some kind of twist, whether it’s at the midpoint or towards the end, somehow you have to find a way to jam that twist in there.  I’m not saying let’s just throw the ban hammer down on all twists, but they should be used to only further the plot, because at this point it’s just gotten silly, and when you start piecing things together after the film you realize how little sense it all makes.
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    The Last Witch Hunter (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on April 13th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten, but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will
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    Frankenstein – The Mini-Series (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 2nd, 2016

    When certain stories become public domain, you just have to expect that there will be a lot of people creating their own “unique” versions of the same tale all in the name of making a few bucks.  When it comes to adaptations of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, I think we can all agree every attempt to tell the story has not been in the name of preserving the art.  What I do find surprising: despite all the attempts to bring the story to the screen, there still isn’t a version that I can say is a perfect retelling of the tale, though each may have its pros, for the most part it just never seems to translate well.
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    Convergence (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 11th, 2016

    A detective appears to be trapped between heaven and hell in Convergence, which is not all that different from the way I felt watching this supernatural thriller. On one hand, I was impressed by some of the mood and unsettling imagery established by writer/director Drew Hall; the film is mostly set in an abandoned hospital, which inspires even more dread than spending time in a fully functional one. Then again, there are also a lot of nonsense characters and story elements here that don’t get a satisfying payoff, making Convergence an occasionally confounding and hellacious slog.
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    From Dusk Till Dawn: Complete Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 9th, 2016

    Season one of From Dusk Till Dawn gave us a ten-episode remake of the hit original movie while setting up a mythology to stretch its story over numerous seasons. Season two wastes no time in blazing its new path as it continues the blood-soaked adventure that departs from the famed Titty Twister and takes us deeper into the vampire syndicate.  How does season two fare?  After making it through the 10-episode season, I can say I survived this bloody, testosterone-laced thrill ride, but it does have a few missteps along the way.
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    Extraordinary Tales (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 4th, 2016

    Edgar Allen Poe is on a short list of writers that has long been deceased that just about everyone has heard of.  At some point in school we all had are chance to read about the taunting of The Raven or a number of Poe’s other famous works. With Extraordinary Tales we get an animated treat in the form of 5 animated tales written by the master of the macabre.  This is more than just a simple animated retelling of the stories as each tale is given its own unique narration and animated style. Is it worth the time to sit back and watch these classic tales or did they belong on the shelf to collect dust?  Come along with me and I’ll tell you about my journey if you dare.
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    All Hallows’ Eve 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 1st, 2016

    My first All Hallows’ Eve experience was an unexpected fright delight. The 2013 horror film featured a trio of stories tied together by a creepy clown and a familiar “babysitter-in-peril” plot line; it was a fun, unsettling, and grungy throwback to low-budget scares. So you can’t blame me for actually being pretty excited when I found out they’d made another one. Unfortunately, this sequel is a disappointing, thoroughly unsatisfying mish-mash that undoes practically everything that was good about its predecessor.
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    Zombie High (Bluray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 30th, 2016

    Shout Factory is churning out the 1980’s horror films to provide us with a steady diet of schlock-o-rama. Through their Scream Factory series we’ve been getting many double-header collections along with the occasional horror film that stands alone, if not standing out. The films are the kind of thing you gather a bunch of friends together and have yourself a marathon of films that make you laugh as much as make you scream. The latest in this series is the 1987 Zombie High.
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    Nomads (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 21st, 2016

    “Did you ever have a dream but didn’t know where it started?”

    Some dreams did indeed start with the box office flop Nomads. It was the first starring role in a feature film for future James Bond Pierce Brosnan. It was also the first film directed by John McTiernan and his only screenwriting credit to date. Both would go on to have quite flourishing careers, and I suspect neither spends much time looking back at Nomads, and with good enough reason. And those careers did not take long. For McTiernan his next three films would be, in order: Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt For Red October. The film also sports a score by legendary Bill Conti
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    Sinister 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 13th, 2016

    In 2012 Sinister had its release and horror fans seemed to be divided on the film.  For me, I dug the mythology of Bughuul, an evil spirit who appears in 8mm family films that seem to always end in some new gruesome way.  He’s a character the horror genre needs, as I see him as a silent hybrid of Jigsaw (from the Saw franchise) and Freddy Krueger (from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), where he’s a killer who gives us unique kills in some unsettling locations.  Now with the release of Sinister 2, do the filmmakers step up their game and deliver us more from the possible new icon of horror?  Sort of; just not how I would have expected it.
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    Kill Game

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 8th, 2016

    I just have this sick feeling that something awful is going to happen.”

    I pride myself on being able to keep a reasonably open mind when I pick up a new title to review. But sometimes I can’t help but judge a crappy movie book by its cover. That was actually the case with Kill Game, featuring an androgynous Michael Myers-lookalike brandishing a bloody knife on its cover. I was fully prepared to roll my eyes through this movie, which also nods to Saw, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Big Chill (a little). Much to my surprise, I found myself kinda-sorta getting into this twisty, nasty, low-budget slasher.
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    The Visit (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 4th, 2016

    At this point, the most shocking M. Night Shyamalan-related twist would be for the director to make a movie that people actually enjoyed. (The “M.” stands for “maligned,” right?) Hopes weren’t exactly high when it was announced Shyamalan — who was once fated to become either “the next Hitchcock” or “the next Spielberg” — would be dabbling in the fading found footage genre. So imagine my surprise to find that The Visit — a broad, nutty mix of comedy and horror — is the director’s loosest, most playful effort since Signs. It’s also his first (subjectively) non-terrible flick in about a decade.
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    The Green Inferno (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 4th, 2016

    It’s been a long wait for those of us wanting to see Eli Roth’s return behind the camera since Hostel 2 hit the screens. I’ve been more than a little excited since hearing about Roth’s plans to bring the cannibal genre to its jungle roots.  It’s been long enough since audiences have been shocked by the ferocity we haven’t seen from the genre since Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox.  Sadly, the intentions were there, but the execution just fell short.  Instead of getting the shock and gore we’ve come to expect since Cabin Fever and Hostel 1&2, this time around we get a film that feels a little restrained.
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    Bone Tomahawk (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 31st, 2015

    We’re in hell.”

    The Blu-ray cover for Bone Tomahawk features a grizzled Kurt Russell donning a cowboy hat. That image immediately indicated to me that I would be in steady, exceedingly capable hands for the forthcoming Western adventure. What I didn’t necessarily expect was for Bone Tomahawk to also deliver one of the more frightening, engrossing, and pulse-pounding movie-watching experiences of the year.
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    Haven: Season 5, Vol. 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on November 6th, 2015

    For me Haven has always been a quiet-storm series. It was a show that I had heard nothing about when I first started watching, but when I got started, I found it compelling. It’s a mystery series (or at least it used to be) based off a novella from Stephen King. In the beginning, one question was paramount to the series’ lead character: who is the Colorado King? That question took many seasons to answer, but now that the show’s time is limited due to Syfy announcing its decision to cancel the series, with the final episodes to air later this year, another question has arisen as the paramount question: who is Audrey Parker?
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 31st, 2015

    “We’re here.”

    I must start this review by admitting that I did not see 2008’s The Haunting of Molly Hartley. In spite of the fact that very few people did actually see that film, I was surprised to find that a sequel would show up seven years later just in time for the Halloween private shock-fests and schlock nights. If you happen to be a fan of the original film, that doesn’t mean you should get too excited by the sequel. There is little to tie these films together.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Vatican Tapes (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 28th, 2015

    “Dark forces are rising. The frequency of possession is increasing all over the world.”

    Must be Global Warming…check that ,Climate Change. It seems the whole warming thing wasn’t exactly working out for these guys. So like a business with a bad reputation you change the name and pretend that’s what it’s been like all along. There is an alarming increase in the frequency of movie possessions all over the world. But it’s not Global Warming or Climate Change that’s to blame. Hell, it isn’t even Bush’s fault. It’s got to do with the color green.
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