CBS has announced that they are bringing Stephen King’s gigantic novel “Under The Dome” to your television this summer, with Steven Speilberg serving as an executive producer.
In case you never got around to reading it, the book follows the same basic premise as the Simpsons movie. It tells the story of a small New England town that’s suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. The town’s residents need to survive the deteriorating post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers to what this barrier is, where it came from, and how to make it go away.
The series version was originally developed at Showtime. But in an unusual move, the ambitious project jumped from a cable network’s slate to the major broadcaster. It’s also a rather unique title for CBS, since the network has been traditionally more wary about betting on serialized dramas than its rivals. But with AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution, apocalyptic serialized dramas have been delivering large numbers lately.
Fans of the novel shouldn’t expect an exact retelling of the same story. Writer Brian K. Vaughan’s (Lost) script is using the novel’s setup as a launch pad for its own TV-format-friendly version of the story and might even lay the groundwork for a different outcome than the novel’s ending. Also, the CBS version is definitely a series, not a mini-series, with a finale episode that will leave the story open for more seasons.
Although no cast is in place yet, CBS promises the show will be on your screen this summer. Looking forward to it!
What do you guys think?
In my opinion, this is the main problem with these remakes and prequels and re-imaginings that flood the current horror market. This generation is convinced that they want to understand the motivations of the monster, rather than just watching them be the monster. A note to film-makers : we don’t need to humanize the monsters, just let them be fucking monsters!
That is why the original film is such a success : it is about nothing. That’s right. No motivations, no back-story; just an unlucky group of kids that meet up with some crazy lunatics and try to survive. No frills, no explanations, only madness.
When we try to explain the monster, he ceases to be frightening.
This film was a mess, and not really what I wanted to see last night, but a few beers and a buzz at the Drive-In made for a good time. And the second half of the double feature was the surprisingly good “Jack Reacher”, so it was worth my seven bucks…
I just read that it unseated The Hobbit at the top of the box office this weekend, so I am sure we can look forward to more re-imagined sequels in the near future, probably featuring Heather and her good old “cuz” Leatherface teaming up to cause some good-natured tag-team chainsaw action.
If the “sting” after the credits is any evidence, that is what we have to look forward to next : “The Sawyer Family Vacation”. Ugh.
This film was another disappointment to me. I love the Silent Hill games, and even really enjoyed the first film, but this thing was just poorly-done on every level. The acting, even from Ned Stark/Boromir himself was clunky and wooden and unconvincing. The plot didn’t even exist, and the over-all look of them film was such a computer-generated mess, that turned out to be not very satisfying, in my opinion.
Oh, that is, aside from this scene :
Now available on DVD here, but for a much better experience, check out the remastered original games, right here!
Finally, one I liked!
This list was starting to really depress me…
Although it is definitely not perfect, and the opening scenes and characters of the “wrap-around” story were a big turn-off at first, I thought that each of the short films included in this anthology each had their own merits. Read my full review here, and pick up the flick on DVD here, if you still have not seen this one!
A very creepy and well-done flick starring Ethan Hawke!
Some interesting things about the production :
Writer C. Robert Cargill’s inspiration for the movie came from a nightmare he experienced after seeing The Ring, in which he discovered a film in his attic depicting the hanging of an entire family. This scenario became the setup for the plot of Sinister. In creating a villain for the film, Cargill conceptualized a new take on the Bogeyman, calling the entity “Mr. Boogie”. Cargill’s idea was that the creature would be both terrifying and seductive to children, luring them to their dooms as a sinister Willy Wonka-like figure. Cargill and co-writer Scott Derickson ultimately decided to downplay the creature’s alluring nature, only intimating how it manipulates the children into murder. In further developing “Mr. Boogie,” the pair had lengthy discussions about its’ nature, deciding not to make it a demon but rather a Pagan deity, in order to place it outside the conceptual scope of any one particular religion. Consequently, the villain was given the proper name Bughuul, with only the child characters in the film referring to it as “Mr. Boogie.”
At this point, all hell breaks loose, since it turns out that the “fool” has fooled them all, and survived. He makes his way with Dana (the “virgin”) into an elevator beneath the grave of the inbred hillbilly zombie family that they unwittingly chose as their killers.
They descend into darkness, revealing the tools of this sacrifice, a ritual that has apparently been going on for a very long time. Here is where the film is at it’s most brutal fun, with all manners of monsters being gleefully unleashed upon the staff of the control room, as Marty and Dana fight for their lives. Writer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard are clearly having a blast here, and tons of monsters are on display for our enjoyment, and chaos truly ensues.
There are literally hundreds of different creatures that were created for these scenes of madness, some barely glimpsed, some right in the audience’s faces. There is something for everyone here if you don’t blink, including nods to classics like The Shining and Hellraiser, to creepy clowns and a jarringly-bad giant CGI snake, all the way to a real live Merman!
After all of this bloody good fun winds down, we are left with an ending so bleak and unforgiving, I can’t help but wonder if it was part of the reason this great flick went un-distrubuted for so long. Sigourney Weaver explains it all, since she is (of course) the Director of this whole operation that is set on keeping the Old Gods satiated with the blood of the young and innocent.
I mentioned the levels apparent here before, and this is a great example. The film is not literally about “Old Gods” demanding sacrifice.
We, the people who enjoy this type of film, are the old gods in question, and the very desire to watch horror films is being called into question by this fun-filled gore flick.
All in all, Cabin is a great, fun and clever addition to modern horror flicks. Smart and funny, with references to the classics and a ton of blood and boobies, along with something to think about.
They have satisfied me, for now…
Well, that is it for the top ten list of 2012, as chosen by you, the students of Horror Homework. A few glaring omissions here are The Loved Ones (released in Australia in 2009 and finally in the US last year), Paranormal Activity 4, Beyond The Black Rainbow, and Antiviral.
And, just so you know, Django Unchained was my favorite film all year.
See you next year, freaks and geeks!
Crossed is without a doubt the most depraved, stomach-churning, hopeless work of art currently circulating in the comics world. By that, of course, I mean it is the best thing ever.
Beginning with Crossed #0 on August 27, 2008, Crossed is a ground-breaking independent comic series owned by creators Garth Ennis and artist Jacen Burrows.
The story follows survivors dealing with a plague that causes its victims to carry out their most evil thoughts. Carriers of the virus are known as the Crossed due to a cross-like rash that appears on their faces. This contagion is primarily spread through bodily fluids, which the Crossed have used to great effect by treating their weapons with their fluids, as well as through other forms of direct fluidic contact such as rape and bites, assuming the victim lives long enough to turn.
The outbreak spread rapidly, apparently overwhelming the entire world. The infected run amok, killing, raping, and maiming for fun. Infected pilots crashed their aircraft into buildings whilst technicians who had also succumbed to the virus intentionally blew up nuclear power plants. Families and friends turned on one another and butchered each other with whatever weapons they could lay their hands on. Within hours, society was in a state of collapse as entire cities burned, government officials fled or became casualties along with the general public and police and military response dwindled to nothing. Outbreaks were reported in every city in every state of the US on the first day of the outbreak, rendering any attempt at quarantine pointless. Emergency bulletins on the radio from the White House urging citizens to remain indoors and avoid contact with the infected seems to do little if anything to slow the spread of the Crossed, and soon human civilization is all but gone, and mankind appears to be an endangered species.
It is the hopelessness and savage nature of the book that makes it so memorable.
Following Garth Ennis’ original run with his creation, he said, “To be honest, there was never really going to be a volume two- William [Christensen, editor-in-chief/publisher of Avatar] would ask me regularly about the possibility, but apart from one or two vague scenes I pretty soon realised I had no more Crossed stories in me. I didn’t want to force the issue, either, because I’m very pleased with Crossed and don’t want to dilute it with a sequel that I hadn’t the ideas to sustain. That said, it’s pretty obvious that what you have with Crossed is a ready-made fictional world with a good deal of potential for further development, and the Crossed themselves seem to be strong enough villains to maintain an audience.”
So, a series of excellent sequels and spin-offs have followed in the wake of the original series, starting with Family Values, which was written by David Lapham with art by Javier Barreno.
The story continued with Crossed 3D, an experimental take on the story, available only in the innovative 3D format. The story follows SWAT veteran Lt. Hunt MacAvoy as he leads a rescue mission into the middle of Crossed-infected New York City to rescue a stranded doctor.
Crossed 3D was followed by Psycopath, which follows a group of survivors who pick up a man, Harold Lorre, who understands the way the Crossed think, and is tracking a specific group of Crossed who killed a woman he had stalked prior to the outbreak, and subsequently forced a relationship upon her as they survived and kept a fragment of her breast in a plastic bag when she was turned into a Crossed and killed. He is a psychopath and is killing members of the group as they discover his true nature, passing them off as the grisly acts of Crossed.
Psychopath is followed by “Wish You Were Here”, which began life as a weekly webcomic you can read for FREE here. The story is increasingly desolate here, following the daily life of a group of survivors trying to get buy on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. It is written in a journal style by “Shaky” (short for Shakespeare) and has an enthralling storyline, which is a great expansion to the Crossed universe.
You would think that doesn’t get much more depraved than a maniac fucking a dolphin in the blowhole while screaming for his Mommy, but that happens on the first page of this sick and twisted work of art, and things degenerate from there…
A newer monthly series called Crossed : Badlands is out now, and focuses on a different group of survivors every few issues. If you have never checked out Crossed, do your homework!
Thank me later.
Find them for sale directly through Amazon below, and be sure and dig on the free webcomic right here.
Then there is the playful nature to the killer, which suggests that he is still a boy trapped in the body of this hulking murderer. The scene where he takes out Annie, dressed in a silly ghost under a sheet with her boyfriend’s glasses over it, is a good example.
Or the curious look he gives his victim, Bob. Somehow with that simple tilt of the head, so much is injected into the character who should just be considered a dangerous psychopath. Carpenter and the team give this madman such personality in such a minimalist way, it is so refreshing in its subtlety.
Which brings me to my biggest problem with Rob Zombie’s remake. That film wastes so much time trying to explain young Michael’s madness with such cliches. So his mommy was a stripper and step-daddy was a drunk. Who cares?
The original was much more effective, because John Carpenter knew that what is scary is the unknown. “The Shape” was a complete mystery in 1978. Hell, him and Laurie aren’t even related in the original, that was an idea that was developed in the sequels. This film is lean and mean, and about a killer who just wants to kill, no more no less.
Maybe it speaks to the change in generations and the fact that we are seeing so many prequels and re-imaginings of our favorite films. Modern audiences seem to want to know “why” these characters do what they do. Sometimes, the simplicity of a well-executed story and the ambiguous nature of the slasher is much more effective. People think the back story is more interesting, but as we all know, when the monster is unmasked, he is much less frightening.
4) Dr. Loomis, as portrayed by Donald Pleasance.
Dr. Loomis is Myer’s doctor, and the prototype for the “Ahab” character to follow in the newly-created slasher formula. His scenes in the original are all great, as he is always in a state of urgency and frustration.
Every time the film cuts to Loomis’ hunt for his escaped patient, he is spewing doom and anger at whoever is in the scene with him. He seems to be the only one who knows what Myer’s is capable of, and his frustration is abundantly clear to the audience watching his efforts as he goes above and beyond, trying desperately to find the maniac before he strikes again.
This quote from Loomis says it all,and really drives home the point from #3 about keeping the explanations to a minimum and letting the audience fear the unknown.
“I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply…evil.”
Dr. Sam Loomis – Halloween (1978)
5) The soundtrack.
Few films have ever had a score so iconic and instantly-recognizable.
It is a rare occasion that the director himself wrote the theme song that has implanted itself so well into the collective psyche of several generations.
Thank you, John Carpenter!
Love them or hate them, the Paranormal Activity films aren’t going anywhere. Although I usually don’t pay much attention to box office figures (especially in relation to the quality of the film), the money made on this franchise is unbelievable. For example, the production budget on the first PA film was $15,000, the US distribution rights sold for 350,000 and the film grossed $193,876,403 worldwide. With that kind of profit margin, of course we we are going to get some sequels, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the producers milk this concept in to the ground, which some people would claim they already have…
I have been on the favorable side of this film series, they really seem to work on me on some basic level. The scenes from the original that really struck me as creepy and stuck with me are the shots of Katie standing over Micah for hours in the middle of the night ; and particularly when he wakes her sleeping on the porch and she is barely even there anymore. Sure there was some hokey stuff too, but there were some scenes that really worked.
Also, I think the progression of the series of stories, told in reverse on various recording devices has been interesting. The coven of witches from the 80’s in PA3 was particularly haunting, and it was a fascinating move to go further back to see where this curse originated.
Which brings us to the new film, which jumps back to 2011. We get a quick reminder that Demon Katie disappeared with her nephew Hunter, and their whereabouts are still unknown. Then we are thrust into the shaky-cam POV of a likeable and media-savvy teenage girl, Alex.
We meet her family (non-committal dad, overworked mom, cute little brother) and charmingly geeky boyfriend, Ben. Then the weird kid shows up. “Robbie” is a little boy she keeps spotting walking alone and lurking in her treehouse. He is creepy, but vulnerable and alone, and when the news comes that his mother inexplicably had to go to the hospital, the family takes the kid in.
Shit gets weird from there, of course, and as a viewer you get entranced by the progression of days and various points of view. While watching these films, I notice that I instinctively now scan every scene, watching and waiting for what may jump out from which angle. The feeling of dread and tension that these films bring with them is sometimes almost unbearable to me. I know that some people call them boring, but they really work on me and my nerves.
The problem with the slow-burn is that sometimes the pay-off doesn’t match the build-up. When the action ramps up at the end of this chapter in the series, despite some questionable reactions and lack of follow-through from the characters, it really works. And the climactic scenes had me on the edge of my seat right up until the abrupt ending. Honestly, I was relieved it was over, because I could not take much more at that point.
This was the first PA film that I have seen in a theater, but my theory is that this series and most “found footage” films work better at home, in the dark curled up on your couch in the middle of the night. Still, it is a tense and unnerving good time, and a good continuation of the original storyline, even though the script leaves us with more questions than answers…
Not surprisingly, Paranormal Activity 5 has already been announced for next Halloween, and a Latino spin-off is currently in production for early next year. For films that get so much negative reaction from horror fans, they sure seem to be popular. Looking forward to part 5!
Another week, another Kickstarter.
Blame it on rampant piracy or corporate greed or whatever you like to blame it on, but “crowd-funding” has become the only way for truly independent artists to get their projects made. I guess it is the wave of the future…
Well, so be it.
This week’s Kickstarter is for a film I know I would love to see. A feature-length animated adaptation of Eric Powell’s excellent comic book, The Goon, directed by none other than David Fincher!
That’s right, this is your chance to help bring everyone’s favorite zombie smasher to the big screen! For over 12 years, Eric Powell’s comic book “The Goon” has thrilled readers around the globe with its fantastic world of mobsters, zombies, killer robots, giant fish-men, and every outrageous thing in between. The time has come to bring this great comic to theaters!
Today, Treyarch let loose with some of their well-guarded secrets regarding the Zombie mode of the upcoming Call Of Duty : Black Ops 2.
They released this quick teaser last week to perk up some eyeballs :
Now they have let loose a full trailer, detailing the chaotic madness to come when this game finally releases in November!
Here it is, breaking news for all of you horror gamers out there!
More info is sure to be coming out, especially in regards to who those playable characters are, how many maps there are, and what the new “Zombie campaign” mode entails.
Check back right here at Horror Homework, or The official Black Ops website for more details as we get them.
I am sure that all of you gamer geeks out there know that Resident Evil 6 releases on PS3 and XBox next Tuesday October 2nd. To get everyone hyped about it, Capcom has released a slew of new gameplay videos and a downloadable hands-on demo.
Not to mention, they have released a brand new CG film that tells more of the intricate back-story weaving all of these plot-lines together. Check out the trailer for Resident Evil : Damnation.
The storyline for this one weaves three sets of partners through their quest to save the zombified President of the USA. Resident Evil 6 will allow players to select between three scenarios with connected storylines, each with their own feel. Each scenario follows one of three main protagonists – Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield and Jake Muller. The player characters from each scenario will have their own partners which are controlled by either the computer AI or another human player via local or online multiplayer. When playing in single player, the player can allow another player to join in online at any time.A fourth scenario is unlocked after the player has finished the other three, in which the player controls Ada Wong (without a partner).
Sounds like a big step up from the multiplayer from part 5, and as long as there are at least 10 awesome “Mercenaries” maps, I am certain I will be getting my money’s worth from this one!
I just played through the demo on PS3 and this is a very ambitious game.
The graphics are very impressive, with no gory detail spared from view. The demo gives us a small taste of each character’s storyline with a chance to get a feel for the new moves.
First off, shooting while moving is an obvious plus, that the limitations of old school games didn’t allow. The “Guide” system, showing players which direction to head next with a simple button-push, will certainly prove to be helpful. The new cover system, however, did not appear to be functioning properly (but it was certainly better than Operation : Raccoon City’s) . The melee system was greatly improved, with a wide variety of new deadly moves available. At one point, I back-handed a zombie’s head right off (!).
The demo is chaotic, but gives a good feeling about what the finished product will be like, and all of the co-op modes are a great addition.
Check out the demo for free on PSN and XBox LIVE right now, and be sure and pre-order this baby for when it goes live next week!
I am very much looking forward to this new chapter in the Resident Evil mythology. See you guys online for some zombie-slaying co-op action!
Next Tuesday, all hope is lost…