The Walking Dead finale cupcakes

The finale is tonight!  Have you been watching? Are you a fan?  I’m attending a viewing party, so I’m bringing cupcakes:

Edible zombies?

Edible zombies?

This was done with food coloring and edible paper. I’m sure fondant would’ve looked much nicer, but I keep hearing how it tastes terrible and frankly the edible paper was much cheaper.  Definitely know to make bigger cupcakes next time. I also found this recipe for intestines using puff pastry and whatever filling you desire.  Doesn’t it scream zombie?  I think I’m a sucker for macabre food.  So if I don’t end up making this for tonight, this recipe will be tested in the near future.

Who do you think will survive the finale?  I don’t have much in the way of predictions, but I strongly suspect we’re about to see some cannibals.  I sure hope so.  And did any horror fans recognize Denise Crosby in the last ep?  Loved Pet Sematary growing up (both book and the movie), and Zelda was the stuff of nightmares.

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Horror short round up

I’ve been on a horror short kick lately, fueled by viewing “Black Spot” followed by “Creak.”  There are so, so many online that I wanted to give more exposure and share some of my favorites.  These top 5 horror shorts will make you want to sleep with the lights on.  Clicking on the pics will take you to the video, but be prepared for potential nightmares.

 

5) Mama

Mama is scary when she's mad

Mama is scary when she’s mad

Does the name sound familiar?  It should.  The 2013 horror film of the same name was based on this 2008 short.  Both were written by Andrés Muschietti, though I must admit I prefer the short.  At just under three minutes, you get the complete story and the chills without the terrible theatrical ending.

 

4) One Last Dive

onelastdive

Night Dive? Pass.

In preparation for The Conjuring’s theatrical release, Vice challenged four on-the-rise horror directors to come up with one-minute, one-shot films inspired by the devil’s hour, 3:07.  Of those four shorts part of The Conjuring’s The 3:07 AM Project, Jason Eisener’s “One Last Dive” stood miles above the rest.  The tension, the sounds, the atmosphere all crescendo to one large scare.  And it only took a minute.

 

3) Bedfellows

bedfellows

Created by Fewdio, a group with a knack for making horror shorts, this one clocks in at just under three minutes.  A woman is woken up by a phone call late at night and is shocked to find it’s her husband on the other line.  But then…who is in bed with her?

 

2) Still Life

Mannequins..ugh.

Mannequins..ugh.

At just under nine minutes, “Still Life” is the longest short on my list.  Made in Canada in 2005, by director Charles Johnston, “Still Life” has a very Twilight Zone-esque premise.  When a guy runs out of gas driving through a small town, he discovers its inhabitants are all mannequins.  Why are mannequins so creepy?  This story had me utterly hooked.

 

1) Lights Out

lights-out

Don’t turn off the lights.

 

This one has taken the internet by storm over the past few days for good reason.  It’s scary as hell.  I first watched this on my phone, held out as far away from my face as possible, and it still creeped me out.  David Sandberg won Best Director in Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge 2013/14 for this short, deservedly so.   It plays on your fear of the dark.  A fear I was sure I didn’t have until I watched this, and now I’m not so sure.

 

What’s your favorite horror short? There are many great ones out there, that I’ll probably post more in the future.

 

 

 

Afflicted (2013) Movie Review

afflicted 2013 posterAfter a string of recent yawn inducing found footage flicks, Afflicted proves that the sub-genre still has a lot to offer.  First time directors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, who play themselves as well as wrote the screenplay, were awarded best screenplay, best picture, and best director in the horror category at Fantastic Fest 2013, where Afflicted premiered.  Out on VOD and theaters in April, this is a must see for horror fans.

Best friends Derek Lee and Clif Prowse decide to embark on a year-long trip around the world, video logging their journey with Clif’s professional documentary film making gear.  Derek’s family isn’t fond of his decision; he’s developed an arteriovenous malformation in his brain and they worry he may stray too far from the reach of proper medical care should anything happen.  Of course Derek shrugs it off, choosing to make the most out of whatever time he has left, and the pals begin their trip in Barcelona.  They then move on to Paris to meet up with a couple of friends, where things begin to derail.  When Derek takes a woman he met at a bar back to the hotel room, the guys think it’d be hilarious to interrupt his rendezvous.  Instead they find him alone, lying on the bed unconscious and bleeding.  There’s a chunk of flesh missing from his arm that strangely resembles a bite mark.  Refusing to seek medical treatment, Derek insists they move on to their next destination but Clif becomes increasingly worried as Derek begins displaying weird symptoms.  Symptoms that horror fans will recognize right away.

Derek’s transformation runs through the gamut of emotions; awe,elation, amazement, disgust, horror, desperation, panic, and acceptance.  When Derek begins scaling walls in the empty streets at night, it feels very reminiscent of Chronicle.  Don’t worry, it’s not another superhero movie.  Because not long after discovering his superhuman strength, Derek’s body goes through some pretty cringe inducing changes.  Followed by some of the film’s creepiest, edge of your seat moments.  There are even some high-octane Jason Bourne type sequences.  This story evolves, and not always how you’d expect.

Clif and Derek have excellent chemistry as friends with a long history, and feel believable as individuals as well.  Clif and Derek are well-developed, and more than that they’re likable.  So it doesn’t take long to become invested in their story.  When things go awry, Clif’s devotion to save his friend is both admirable and a bit foolish.  Derek’s decision to push his health aside for the sake of living also makes sense.

Because of Clif’s profession, Afflicted maybe the most polished found footage film ever.  The bright and colorful backdrop of Europe is a welcome change to the dark and grainy style that’s the norm.  In Clif’s gear was maybe the most clever explanation of camera’s use in any found footage film: the camera vest.  It bypassed a lot of problems that are typical in found footage.  It does not solve the shaky cam problem, however, and there are a few chaotic action sequences.

With themes very similar to Chronicle and An American Werewolf in London, Afflicted has so many elements that make it a great film.  Though the scares are few, they’re well placed and effective.  Go see this film in April.  Stay for the mid-credit jaw dropping bonus scene.