Directed by: Spencer Parsons
Written by: Jory Balsimo, Aaron Leggett, Jason Wehling
Featuring: Ashley Rae Spillers, Josephine Decker, Adam Tate, Jonny Mars, Paul Gordon
Drawing inspiration from Scooby-Doo, Ghost Hunters and scary movies of the '70s and '80s, Saturday Morning Massacre is a horror parody that's equal parts frightening and funny. Made with affection and a knowing eye, this sly film is for anyone who ever wanted to see how the meddling members of Mystery Inc. would fare if they, say, walked onto the set of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Written and directed by: Nicholas Smith
Featuring: Bruce Davison, Randall Batinkoff, Trevor Morgan, Brooke Peoples, Hallock Beals, Lauren Storm, Art Fox
My buddy Phil Nugent, who writes for the Onion's A.V. Club (among other places), often complains about genre movies and TV shows, saying that it's become harder and harder to avoid the question of "Why don't the protagonists just call the cops on their cell phones?" Munger Road tries to head this off at the pass early on: The four teenagers at its center spend the majority of the film in a remote location where no one can get any bars (in fact, at one point a character leaves said location "because I remember getting bars a few miles back"). It's a pretty nice nod to the modern realities of horror writing/filmmaking, and writer/director Nicholas Smith's debut feature isn't quite as adept at all aspects of its storytelling, but Munger Road is an interesting debut nonetheless.
Written and Directed by: Leonardo Araneo
Featuring: Roberton Zibetti, Marco Gandolfi Vannini, Aran Bertetto, Giovanni Guidelli
Reading a review of the latest direct-to-DVD found footage movie is about as exciting as watching one, as many of these features contain the same inherent flaws and weaknesses. So, to buck the trend, I'm starting my review of Back from Hell on a positive note.
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Featuring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson
I was one of the few horror fans who genuinely wasn't impressed by Insidious. While I liked the performances and thought the premise was all right, to me nothing about it screamed "incredible" as it seemed to do to my colleagues. Thus, when it leaked at SXSW 2012 that the big secret screening was to be Sinister, which shares some of the behind-the-scenes puppeteers with Insidious, I skipped it in lieu of catching a different flick. Tonight, I got the chance to remedy the situation and I think I made the wrong choice back at the festival; Sinister is clever, interesting and well-done — all in all, one of the more intriguing horror films in recent memory.