FRIGHT AT HOME – July 14th Brings Werewolves, Vampires, Lamps and IT FOLLOWS!!

IconsOfFright_Logo (1)Another week, another FRIGHT AT HOME. This week (July 14th) brings three films from Scream Factory, two titles from Artsploitation, some Kino Lorber lover and a big one, The DVD/Bluray release of the sleeper horror hit of the year, David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS.  Some of the titles, such as THE HOWLING II (review) and EX MACHINA are getting their own reviews, so the coverage will be smaller than the rest in this Fright At Home entry, but we’ve got the lowdown on some of the stand out releases of the week!


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THE HOWLING II, THE OUTING/THE GODSEND (Scream Factory)

Having already tackled the GREAT release that is THE HOWLING II (review), the focus on this week’s Scream Factory coverage is devoted to the double feature Bluray of ’80s horror gems THE OUTING (aka THE LAMP) and THE GODSEND. Two very different films, both in tone and subgenre, the double feature is a set that might not appeal to some, but is something that most horror lovers will want to pick up.

THE OUTING deals with a group of teens who decided to be rebellious and spend the night in the museum curated by the father of one of them. When an antique lamp is brought to the museum, an ancient genie is unleashed, possessing one of the teens and bringing some gnarly death scenes to the rest. If you don’t absolutely squirm during the film’s snake-filled tub sequence, then you’re much more of a badass than I am, as I was about to scream like a little girl (I hate snakes). It’s a fun little movie, one that looks like it was done on the cheap and some of the acting is quite bad, but there’s just something absolutely lovable about THE OUTING, making it one of the films that you can watch and laugh at simultaneously.

Where as THE OUTING was a little bit more tongue in cheek, things are very different, tonally, in THE GODSEND. Instead of genies and bullies, we get a husband and wife and their children, all who decided to give a lost and very pregnant woman (played by the daughter of Donald Pleasence) shelter for the night. When the woman gives birth and vanishes the following morning, the young couple decide to take care of the newborn baby, and as time goes by, strange things begin to happen. The couple’s other children either begin to die or get put in danger OF dying, and it becomes apparent that there’s something very sinister at hand.

Both films are two great entries into ’80s horror, with different tones and stories that might not be the expected coupling of films, but are both entertaining and full of terror-inducing good times.

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IT FOLLOWS (Anchor Bay)

David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS caught film goers off guard, giving them not only a good horror film, but an excellent film in general. Easily this generation’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, the film follows Jay (Maika Monroe, THE GUEST), a young woman who after having sex, is stalked by a demon that only she can see. To get rid of the demon, the person in peril has to pass it onto someone else and make sure they do the same, or else the demon will continue to come for them until they’re dead. While some have speculated that the film is a metaphor for teenage sex and STD’s, star Keir Gilchrist think it’s a film about death being inevitable (interview).

It’s a quiet yet completely intense film, filled with an eerie terror that doesn’t go away and is made even more effective by what might be the soundtrack of the year, courtesy of one man composer, Disasterpeace (interview). The combination of the entire cast brining their A-games, Disasterpeace’s excellent and moody score, and the great direction by Mitchell, IT FOLLOWS is a film that will be considered a horror classic in no time.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

A critics’ commentary hosted by Nerdist’s Scott Weinberg and featuring Eric D. Snider (MovieBS), Britt Hayes (Screencrush), Samuel D. Zimmerman (Shock Till You Drop), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire) and Eric Vespe (Ain’t It Cool News); the featurette “A Conversation with Film Composer Disasterpeace” and a Poster Art Gallery

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THE TREATMENT, RECKLESS (Artsploitation)

Making a name from themselves with a continual output of exploitation, arthouse and foreign horror/thrillers, Artsploitation Films’ two releases this week, RECKLESS (the dutch remake of 2009’s The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and THE TREATMENT (a film adaption of Mo Hayder’s novel) both hit shelves and are also both films that you should check out, with each one of them doing an excellent job breathing new life into the source material in which they’re drawn from.

The kidnapping-gone-wrong RECKLESS takes 2009’s film and amps up the violence, sexuality and pressure with its premise of a well planned kidnapping that goes anything but according to plan. It’s a tightly-paced thriller with a lot of twists and turns that make it a really enjoyable film, one that’s filled with great performances from Tygo Gernandt, Marwan Kenzari and especially Sarah Chronis as the kidnapped Laura Temming.

The Hans Herbots-helmed crime/thriller THE TREATMENT is equally shocking and intense, with its story of Nick Cafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg), a police officer on a mission to solve a series of kidnappings and murders, and in turn getting caught up in something that is way over his head. It’s a thriller on par with PRISONERS and similarly dark thrillers, one that make you watch and then causes you to think about what you saw for quite some time afterwards.

Any film that deals with kidnapping/pedophilia can be a tricky one to watch, and THE TREATMENT is quite easily one of the most intense and unforgettable thrillers in a long, long time.

unnamed (98)THE UNWANTED (Kino Lorber)

A loose retelling of the vampire classic, CARMILLA, Brent Wood’s THE UNWANTED is easily one of the highlights of the week, with it’s southern feel to it, and a character-driven story of Laura (V/H/S star Hannah Fierman), a young and somewhat awkward woman who lives with her father and lives a pretty boring life. That is, until a stranger in the form of Christen Orr’s drifting character, who knocks on Laura’s door, asking for information about her mother. Soon, Laura and the drifter find themselves entangled in a sensual and vampiric love affair, one that brings danger to their lives, as Laura’s obsessive and secretive father Troy (CARRIE‘s William Katt) threatens the ruin their affair and shed some blood while he’s at it.

It’s a completely entertaining and interesting take on the vampire genre, one that is closer to a sensual love story (in a non cheesy way) than your typical blood and guts offering that we get thrown at us time and time again. Great performances by Fierman, Orr and Katt all work together to bring a new twist to the subgenre, and one that contributes to make a solid film.

Blu-ray Special Features:
Theatrical trailers
Deleted scenes
Making-of documentary
The Other Half (2008, 17 min.), a short film by Bret Wood