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‘Dead By Midnight’ is a Love Letter to the Retro Horror Anthology – Review

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Dead By Midnight

I love horror anthologies, so when I had the opportunity to watch Dead By Midnight (11pm Central), I was thrilled. And I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. It’s a wildly entertaining collection of cautionary tales that brilliantly executes the creative potential of the anthology format.

Dead By Midnight (11pm Central) is a collection of 6 stories – five separate short segments with one comprehensive plot tying them together. The description is as follows:

It’s Halloween at WKIZ when the malicious Mistress of Midnight arrives to host her annual horror movie marathon ‘Dead by Midnight’. When the WKIZ staff begins disappearing only to turn up in the increasingly darker films, it’s up to line producer Candice Spelling to stop the Mistress of Midnight before her final and most diabolical film goes to air.

And check out this awesome poster design!

via You42

Each of the anthology chapters have a great premise and a solid execution. There’s honestly not a weak entry among them.

The anthology’s main storyline (known as Dead Air, directed by Torey Haas) shows the characters gradually shifting over as “actors” in the movie marathon entries, allowing the film’s cast to showcase their talent with double duty roles. This is a great creative choice that ties everything together very well, giving Dead By Midnight an overarching plot that clearly builds a full story.

It’s also just a very clever way to present an anthology that ties back to the roots of the sub-genre; shows and films like Tales From the Crypt, Thriller, Trilogy of Terror, Waxworks, Hammer House of Horror and The Vampira Show.

I was so happy to see Hannah Fierman (SiREN, V/H/S) as line producer Candice Spelling – she’s such a great talent and she can communicate so much with her physicality and facial expressions (take into consideration that her role in SiREN is mainly non-speaking, and you’ll know what I mean).

Each segment is introduced by the Mistress of Midnight (Erin Brown, Masters of Horror: Sick Girl), the saucy hostess of the Dead By Midnight TV special. She’s basically a hybrid of Elvira and Evelyn (Barbara Crampton’s VHS game guide character from Beyond the Gates) and her coy quips mask her dark intentions.

The first “official” short entry, titled Jersey Devil (directed by Tony Reames), features a punchy script that I greatly enjoyed (written by the segment’s lead actress, Davi Crimmins). The comedic timing of this entry is fantastic and I definitely appreciated the Evil Dead homage of the camera-rushing-at-the-cabin visual gag. Delightful!

The next segment, Creepy Dolls (directed by Eric Davis) stood out for me because of Emma Green’s character, Toni. She’s wise to the ways of a spooky story and shows that it really is easy to incorporate diversity of sexual orientation into the genre.

Director Jay Holloway’s segment, Lost Laundry, uses a combination of stop-motion animation and practical gore effects to turn his story into a fun creature feature. Anyone who has ever had an uncomfortable roommate situation will definitely identify with this short.

Day Three – written and directed by Anissa Matlock – is beautifully subdued in comparison to the previous segments. It’s full of emotion and communicates a deep trauma with characters that are struggling to cope. The climax is stunning with phenomenal practical effects and design. It really won me over.

Dead By Midnight

The last segment, Blind Side (directed by Torey Haas and written by Melissa Oulton) is the nightmare of anyone who relies on prescription glasses. The short’s main character, Rebecca (Jenni McCarthy), finds herself blurrily struggling through a horrific situation and still follows all the logical steps – for once – which deserves applause.

Overall, the film had such a strong group of stories that it would be difficult to pick a favorite. Dead By Midnight (11pm Central) is a killer indie anthology that fully embraces the format and does a damn good job.

Dead By Midnight (11pm Central) will screen as part of the Atlanta Film Festival on April 14th (9:30pm at the Plaza Theatre). You can check out the trailer below.

Craving more horror anthologies? Check out the teaser trailer for Lilith!

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Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey – Extended Clip

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Brace yourselves, Disney fans! The sweet and lovable Winnie the Pooh takes a dark turn in the latest extended scene of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.

Pooh, with his mouth drooling with sticky honey, transforms into a ruthless tormentor, the sounds of whipping and screaming fill this just released clip.

Send the kiddos to another room, this one is going to be a wild ride! Watch the clip below:

The much-anticipated Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is hitting theaters on February 15th, and it’s shaping up to be one wild ride.

With word of mouth spreading faster than a stampede of heffalumps, the film’s 1-day theatrical run has been extended to a nine-day theater release, set to be shown in over 1,500 theaters nationwide.

The buzz is so strong that the studio behind the project is already planning a sequel, greenlighting it before any box office numbers even come in. The film’s official Twitter page made the announcement with the tantalizing caption “More blood. More honey”.

They also released a teaser poster featuring Winnie-The-Pooh 2, front and center, with a tagline that reads “Friends will gather… to take revenge”. Get ready to be lured into the world of Winnie the Pooh like never before.

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Keanu Reeves Will Return As ‘Constantine’ in Sequel Directed by Francis Lawrence

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Keanu Reeves will finally return as John Constantine in a film directed by Francis Lawrence once again. Deadline reports that the new film has been given the greenlight. The first film came out back in 2005 and introduced a very different version of DC’s Hellblazer John Constantine.

Keanu Reeves offered his first public comments regarding Constantine 2 going into development under Warner Bros since its announcement last year.

Reeves explained just how much he loved playing the role in the first movie, joking that he was similar to the titular character from Oliver Twist in asking the studio “Can I please have some more?”

“I don’t know if it was unfinished business but it was definitely a role that I loved. And I thought that Francis Lawrence, the director, did such amazing work. I loved playing that character, and I really enjoyed the film. I was like, [adopts Oliver Twist voice] ‘Can I please have some more?'”

Constantine 2 by diamonddead-Art

This apparently became a regular conversation between Reeves and Warner Bros., with the studio regularly saying no to his requests:

“I kept asking almost every year. I’d be like, ‘Can I please?’ [and] they’d be like, ‘No, no!'”

Once the studio finally said “sure” and greenlit the sequel, Reeves and his team quickly got to work and are now “just starting to try and put a story together.”

Reeves was unable to contain his excitement, making it clear that he’s going to “try [his] darndest to try and realize that dream” of making this movie even with all the obstacles in the way:

“So it’s exciting. It’s almost like an open playground that we can hopefully cook something up and play in, and I guess get out of the playground and prepare a meal. But I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully it can happen. You don’t know how these things go. But I’m definitely going to try my darndest to try and realize that dream.”

The Constantine sequel will be directed by Lawrence and produced by Bad Robot with JJ Abrams and Hannah Minghella. Plus, Akiva Goldsmith is set to write.

Over the years since the release of 2005’s Constantine, Matt Ryan played a very authentic version of the blonde, British demonologist for a shortlived NBC series. Ryan has also given the character voice in animated films as well as portrayed the character in spinoffs to other DC worlds such as Legends of Tomorrow.

The synopsis for Constantine went like this:

As a suicide survivor, demon hunter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has literally been to hell and back — and he knows that when he dies, he’s got a one-way ticket to Satan’s realm unless he can earn enough goodwill to climb God’s stairway to heaven. While helping policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) investigate her identical twin’s apparent suicide, Constantine becomes caught up in a supernatural plot involving both demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comics.

Over the years we have heard buzz about a possible Constantine sequel several times, with no actual flame behind the sparks. So, it is definitely exciting to see the film actually moving forward.

Stay tuned for more Keanu Constantine details.

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Blumhouse’s Five Nights at Freddy’s Has Begun Filming

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Filming for the highly anticipated Blumhouse production of Five Nights at Freddy’s has officially begun! A sneak peek photo posted by Blum himself reveals that the flick is being shot under the oh-so-delicious faux title of Bad Cupcake. Yum!

We’re ready for a horror-filled romp with Matthew Lillard (Thir13en Ghosts, Scream). He’s one of our favorite people to watch, and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the film!

Joining him is none other than Josh Hutcherson (Tragedy Girls) and Mary Stuart Masterson (Skin). Emma Tammi (The Wind) is directing this horror-themed video game adaptation, with the team from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop conjuring up the evil animatronics. We can’t wait to see the nightmare fuel this team brews up!

The new film will follow a troubled security guard as he begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. While spending his first night on the job, he realizes the night shift at Freddy’s won’t be so easy to make it through.

We’re happy to see production underway and look forward to seeing some BTS clips soon!

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