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‘The Invitation’ Gives Us The Worst Summer Horror Box Office Yet With The Vampire Film Only Pulling in $7 Million

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Invitation

As summer comes to a close, so does the summer’s box office. The box office had its very high points with films like the record-shattering Maverick and Jordan Peele’s Nope. Horror managed to do quite well at the box office through the summer, but sadly it closes out the heat with a lukewarm whimper. The Invitation only opened on 3,114 theaters screens and only pulled in $7 million total over the weekend.

This is really sad news for a couple of reasons. For one, I love vampire films and it’s always sad to hear one… sucks. Secondly, Nathalie Emmanuel is queen and beautiful so it’s not a great feeling to see her in something not deserving of her. And thirdly, the trailer looks like it is going to have a gnarly second half in which Emmanuel whips all kinds of vamp butt. Sadly, I’m wrong.

The synopsis for The Invitation goes like this:

After the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test…and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she’s at first seduced by the sexy aristocrat host but is soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family’s history and the unsettling intentions behind their sinful generosity.

In fact, the box office only managed to pull in a total of $53.7 million. That is with The Invitation at the number one spot. This leads Bullet Train, Beast, Top Gun: Maverick, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, DC League of Super Pets, Three Thousand Years, Minions: Rise of Gru, Thor: Love and Thunder, Where the Crawdad Sings and Nope.

The Box-office is a bit of a mess with a lot of films deciding to do a release in theaters and a release at home. The next big one is going to be Halloween Ends. While all that could have been Box Office pull, instead it will now be made up of Peacock money and Box Office money. A big miss for the box office was with Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey. The action smash-hit could have pulled in a lot of box office money, but instead, it went straight to Hulu. The post-COVID world is a really wild and unexpected one indeed.

Did you make it out to see anything this past weekend? If so what did you see? The Invitation?

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Bruce Campbell Shares Image of ‘Evil Dead Rise’

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Bruce Campbell has gone from Ashy Slashy to Ashy Cashy for the next Evil Dead film. Although it is said he won’t appear in the film, he is contributing behind the scenes as an executive producer.

According to the IMDb synopsis this entry into the series will center around a family:

“A twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.”

The photo that Campbell shared via Twitter holds some visual clues as to who this family is and the menacing presence that torments them.

Evil Dead Rise was originally supposed to go straight to streaming, but test audiences gave such great feedback that the studio gave the green light to a theatrical release for April 21, 2023.

As franchises go, there are now five in the series. Evil Dead 2 is considered both a remake and a sequel, while the fourth (titled Evil Dead) is a reboot. Only the third takes place away from the dreaded cabin in the woods. Evil Dead Rise will take place in Los Angeles.

The director of Rise, Lee Cronin, says there were almost 2,000 gallons of blood used in his forthcoming film.

A photo of the Deadite from the film was released in October. You can see that HERE.

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A Date Night Goes Wrong in Shudder’s Disturbingly Surreal ‘A Wounded Fawn’ 

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A Wounded Fawn

A Wounded Fawn, the newest film from director Travis Stevens (Girl on the Third Floor and Jakob’s Wife) adds to the resurgence of ‘70s nostalgia filmmaking and creates something that will surely stand out from the rest. It descends into terrifying chaos steered by an impressive acting duo. 

The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival to acclaim and also played at Fantastic Fest, and will be premiering exclusively on Shudder on December 1. 

A Wounded Fawn Poster

Meredith (Sarah Lind: Jakob’s Wife,Wolfcop) is a museum curator trying to reenter the dating pool after an abusive relationship. She runs into Bruce (Josh Ruben: Scare Me, College Humor), a sweet but offputting man who invites her on a date to his secluded cabin. Little does she realize that this man is actually a mentally ill serial killer with his eyes on her as his next victim. 

The film opens with an art auction around a recently found Greek statue depicting a man being attacked by gods for his evildoing, shaping the premise of the film. 

Effectively cut into two parts, the first half of this film focuses on what you would expect with a serial killer luring a new female victim to his cabin in the woods, bearing many similarities to a film like Fresh. The second half turns into something else, surprisingly morphing into a different film that becomes far more sinister. 

A Wounded Fawn Shudder Original
Some of the eerie cinematography of “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

A Wounded Fawn was shot on 16mm film, with plot tropes and shot styles resembling ’70s cinema and using the iconic ‘70s-style bright red blood.

Style and color are a big highlight, especially since it merges the art world with Greek mythology, creating shots that could be paintings themselves and a production design that goes beyond the often drab look of modern horror films. 

A Wounded Fawn 2022
Some creature designs from “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Shudder

The special effects work adds to the impressive look of the film. Many of them are practical and heavily featured; there’s a good amount of blood spilling in this cabin. There are also imaginative creature designs similar to Donnie Darko. The creatures didn’t always work for me, but their bold designs and uniqueness are extraordinary.

The acting in this film is a standout. The two main actors, Ruben and Lind, have a great dynamic: they have very little chemistry with each other, capturing the feeling of being stuck on a first date with someone who doesn’t click. The story is seen from both of their sides in different but sympathetic ways. 

A Wounded Fawn Josh Ruben
Josh Ruben as Bruce Ernst in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

Knowing Ruben previously, it was difficult for me to see him in the role of a psychologically-damaged, violent man; he usually plays a goofy character. But, in this film, his psycho side sometimes unsettled me.

A Wounded Fawn Sarah Lind
Sarah Lind in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Shudder

Lind comes off as a yearning, hopefully romantic, and also confident, surefooted woman, perhaps influenced by her love of art. In particular, her love of the famous hardcore performance artist and author Marina Abramovic.

The film also stars Malin Barr (Honeydew, The Beta Test) in a role that, while small, is impactful. 

A Wounded Fawn Malin Barr
Malin Barr as Alecto in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

The film definitely touches on aspects that some might consider feminist, although considering it was written and directed by men, it does come off as a little simplistic — but hey, I’ll take it.

As Lind is an actress around 40 (although you would never know it looking at her flawless face), the film explores the themes of how difficult it is for older women to date, and broadly how dangerous it is for women of all ages in the same situation. The film in some ways could be viewed as a female revenge flick, particularly in the Greek mythology sense. 

The dreamlike atmosphere of this film is aided by really fun camera work and editing that seems to have a lot of intention behind it, and some eerie sound design. 

A Wounded Fawn isn’t perfect, but it was highly original and engaging for its runtime. It elevates the basic premise of a psychotic male killer by using surreal, and psychological elements. I can definitely see the last half being divisive, but those who are into chaotic and trippy horror films might enjoy A Wounded Fawn, streaming on Shudder now.

Check out the trailer below.

3.5 eyes out of 5
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‘The Dentist 1 & 2’ Comes to Vestron Video Blu-Ray Collection

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Dentist

Corbin Bernsen managed to make two of the most nightmarish low-budget, direct-to-video releases of their time. The Dentist and its sequel went for the jugular with its big gory effects and sleazy tale of a Dentist losing his mind. Both entries are incredibly entertaining and director Brian Yuzna really did have a goopy blast with both entries. Plus, Bernsen is completely having a blast coming unhinged throughout. The Dentist and its sequel are worth the price of admission.

Now, The Dentist and The Dentist 2 are coming to a killer blu-ray collection from Vestron’s collection. The artwork and the special features for both discs are both a serious treat for fans of the Yuzna filims.

The synopsis for The Dentist goes like this:

Dr. Alan Feinstone is a rich and successful Beverly Hills dentist. There’s only one problem, he’s insane. Dr. Feistone loves perfection, and he expects it of everyone. Unfortunately, no one is perfect. This unacceptable fact annoys the good doctor and leads him to commit his one small imperfection: murder.

THE DENTIST:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
  • Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Director of Photography Levie Isaacks
  • “The Doctor Is Insane” – An Interview with Actor Corbin Bernsen
  • “Medical Malpractice” – An Interview with Cowriter Dennis Paoli
  • “Mouths of Madness” – Interviews with Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante and Makeup Effects Artist J.M. Logan
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

THE DENTIST 2:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
  • Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Editor Christopher Roth
  • “Jamie’s New Neighbor” – An Interview with Actress Jillian McWhirter
  • “A Tale of Two Dentists” – An Interview with Producer Pierre David
  • Mouths of Madness: The Dentist 2 – Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante and Make-up Effects Artist J.M. Logan
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Vestron’s The Dentist Collection arrives on January 24.

Dentist
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