Christopher Lee Selected to Receive the 2014 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Award




The Fright Meter Awards committee has selected Christopher Lee to receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  Below, committee member Paul Counelis explains why this living horror legend was selected (as if any explanation is needed)!


There is perhaps no greater living horror royalty than Sir Christopher Lee. With apologies to treasures like Robert Englund, Wes Craven and Roger Corman, Lee is perhaps the most obvious line to follow when tracing our genre’s lineage back to its classic origins, and it’s all the more impressive when you consider that he is still gracing our screens with new output even at the age of 91.

As an actor, Lee has an unfathomable number of credits to his name, with the majority of those emanating from horror and thriller films. He has appeared next to some of the most legendary of greats and more than held his own; often stealing scenes from men whose first names are no longer even necessary, such as Karloff and Cushing. His stirring voice work is also notable, since it is as prominent and well-loved as anyone this side of Vincent Price. His turn as Dracula was great and memorable as to actually spark a legitimate debate between his portrayal and Lugosi’s, which is by itself a noteworthy feat.

Truth be told, little explanation is really needed for why SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE is this year’s choice for the Fright Meter 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, but if you REALLY need any, there are 278 of them (and counting) available for your enlightenment in the form of his immortal movies.


Tom Savini Accepts the 2013 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Award


The Fright Meter Awards Committee selected Tom Savini to be the first ever recipient of the Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Savini has worked in the industry for nearly forty years.  He is best known for his ground-breaking make up and special effects in such films as Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Maniac, The Burning and The Prowler.  His frightening realistic effects set the standard in the industry and provided some of the most memorable scenes in horror film history.  Additionally, Savini has directed several genre films, including the 1990 remake of George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead.  Savini has also appeared on camera, acting in films such as The Ripper, Creepshow 2, Grindhouse, Django Unchained and Machete Kills. 

Truly a pioneer in the industry, Tom Savini has devoted his career to the horror genre, and his impact on the genre will be felt for years to come. 


Tom Savini accepts the 2013 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Awardf from Fright Meter Awards Committee member Colt Seaver Nowell.

The 10 Best Final Girls in Slasher Film History


Every horror knows that one of the hallmarks of a slasher film is a great final girl.  Someone the audience can root for and someone who has the wits and guts to fight back against the murderous madman.  Virtually every slasher film has a final girl, and like anything else, some are much better than others.  After considering the literally hundreds of final girls from the hundreds of slasher films released over the years, I give you my picks for the Ten Best Final Girls in Slasher History.   Don't be afraid to comment and let me know whether you agree, disagree, or who you think was left off the list!



10.  Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), A Nightmare on Elm Street
Fighting and outsmarting Freddy Krueger is no small feat, considering he is able to stalk you at your most vulnerable  However, Nancy Thompson does just that while maintaining the nice, good girl image that is associated with a good final girl.    Her wholesome looks and innocent nature allow the audience to immediately form a connection with her and actually care about her nightmarish ordeal.  Nancy uses her smarts to trick Freddy, hence allowing her to seemingly defeat him.   
 

 
9.  Courtney (Cecile Bagdadi), Final Exam
Hands down the most underappreciated final girl in horror history, Courtney is the quintessential final girl; smart, wholesome, and not afaid to fight back when attacked by a psychopath.  Alone on a spooky college campus and discovering her friends have been murdered, she engages the killer in a breathtaking game of cat and mouse which is one of the best chase sequences in slasher movie history.  And like a good final girl, she ultimately gets the best of him.
 

 
8.  Jannicke (Ingrid Bolso Berdal), Cold Prey
Poor Jannicke and her friends just wanted to have an awesome ski trip.  Unfortunately, after one of them gets hurt, they choose the wrong old abandoned hotel to take shelter in.  Extremely atmospheric and tension filled, Cold Prey is easil one of the best slasher flicks released in the last twenty years.  The Norwegian film brilliantly plays with the American slasher conventions, including giving us a kick-ass final girl.  Jannicke is quick, clever, and definitely a fighter.


 
7.  Yasmine (Karina Testa), Frontier(s)
Frontier(s) is French director Xavier Gens wink to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  A group of friends escaping the violence of the city take shelter in a bed and breakfast that is unfortunately run by a group of butchering psychopaths.  And much like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Frontier(s) comes down to one final girl, Yasmine, who like Sally Hardesty, is mentally pushed beyond the limits of what is imaginable.  But unlike Sally, Yasmine does not let this get the best of her.  Instead she bottles her rage until the right moment and proceeds to fight back in the most brutal and unrelenting manner possible, proving she was definitely the wrong girl for this family of psychos to mess with!



6.  Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey), Black Christmas
Black Christmas was released a full four years before John Carpenter's slasher classic Halloween.  The films have obvious similarities, and though Carpenter's film deserves to accolades it receives, I have always found Black Christmas the more effective film.  The characters in Black Christmas are much more colorful and interesting and Jess is a perfect example of this.  The exact opposite of virginal good girl Laurie Strode, Jess is an strong-willed, independent young woman who refuses to be controlled or manipulated.  She makes a controversial decision, disregarding her boyfriend's desires because she knows it is what is best for her.   Jess was definitely a feminist before her time.  And when the times comes to face a maniacal killer, she does what she needs to do to survive.



5.  Alice (Adrienne King), Friday the 13th
Alice is instantly likable and Adrienne King lights up the screen with her girl-next-door charm.   It is because of her extreme likability that we the audience grow to care about her and then, ultimately root for her.  When she discovers that her fellow counselors have all been brutally butchered, she resists the temptation of becoming a helpless, emotional mess and is not afraid to get her hands dirty with Mrs. Vorhees.  She fights back aggressively and ultimately wins  thanks to a handy machete.   However, it is a shame she was murdered so easily without a fight in the sequel.

 
4.  Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Scream
 By the mid 1990's, the slasher genre was all but dead.  Scream came along and reignited the genre, creating a whole new generation of slasher lovers. Kevin Williamson's clever, tongue in cheek script walked the fine line of being a parody by acknowledging and poking fun at slasher cliches and conventions.  And of course, like any good slasher flick, he gave us a tough, likable final girl in Sidney Prescott.  Trying to deal with her mother's tragic murder, Sidney is a flawed character who, while initially your stereotypical virginal good girl, she certainly is not a character who is pigeon-holed to this characterstic.  What is great about Sidney is that the viewer witnesses her growth and toughening throughout the four films. 
 
 
 

3.  Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Halloween
Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis is the "Scream Queen," and I bet many probably thought Laurie Strode was a shoo-in for the top spot.  Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis is a brilliant actress and her Laurie Strode truly is the quintessential final girl:  meek, innocent, virginal, the goody two shoes.  She successfully fights back against Michael Myers, though it is really Dr. Loomis who saves her from being murdered in the first two films.   And though she is pretty bad ass in Halloween: H20, in Halloween: Ressurection, she is resorted to a mummbling nut case who becomes a much too easy target for Michael Myeres.  Still, it is hard to deny that Laurie Strode is the archetype of final slasher girls.



2.  Erin (Sharni Vinson), You're Next
Move over, Laurie Stode.  Meet Erin.  You're Next final girl Erin is a prime example of the evolution of the slasher final girl.  Not the least bit meek or mild, Erin harbors a secret that allows her to outsmart a group of homicidal maniacs and successfully engage them in their own game.  She's clever and has a survival instinct like no other, using whatever she can to fight back against her attackers with absolutely no mercy.  Erin is a final girl for the new generation, as her seemingly harsh, no nonsense approach to surviving is much more refreshing than watching a crying, hysterical mess going through the motions in order to defeat the killer. 


1.  Ginny (Amy Steel), Friday the 13th Part 2
Killing off Alice, the sole survivor from the first film, in the opening scene of Friday the 13th Part 2 was a risky move, but also illustrated that the sequel meant business.  While it was depressing to see Alice disposed of in a such a gruesome manner, all was made better with the introduction of the sequel's heroine, Ginny.   Ginny is beautiful, bubbly, relatable, and when the time comes, extremely resourceful and intelligent.  She goes toe to toe with Jason Vorhees in one of the most exciting climaxes in horror history, and ultimately knows exactly what to do to get the best of him.  She exemplifies everything a great final girl should be and it is no wonder that legions of Friday the 13th fans declare her as their favorite character (besides Jason of course) of the series. 

 

 

The Hanover House


Year:  2014
Director:  Corey Norman
Cast:  Brian Chamberlain, Casey Turner, Anne Bobby, Erik Moody

Robert Foster and his wife, Shannon, are heading back home from his father's funeral when he hits a young girl with his car.  Frantic, he rushes to find seek help and comes upon an old farmhouse, unaware that the house has been waiting for him.
 
The Hanover House is the first feature length film from Maine filmmaker Corey Norman who gave us the highly effective shorts The Barn and NATAL.  Both of these short films allowed viewers a glimpse into the type of filmmaker Norman is striving to be and his penchant for easily creating an escalating sense of dread and constructing an eerie atmosphere.  And since one of the selling points of The Hanover House is the fact that it was filmed in a real life haunted farmhouse, Norman certainly provided himself the perfect setting to put his talent to work.  And he does not disappoint. 
 
First, I cannot express just how great this film looks.  IMDB has the budget listed at roughly $22,000, and I do not think I have seen a better looking horror film this year.  The direction is tight and the cinematography is clean and crisp with some breathtaking images of the Maine countryside.  Many times, films with small budgets struggle to overcome this constraint when it comes to visual aesthitics, but this is not the case with The Hanover House.  Night scenes are lit appropriately, which is crucial to the third act of the film.  Speaking of which, the film moves along at an appropriate pace, though some may feel the exposition and second act drags a bit.  It is here that the film plays out more like a dramatic character study than a horror film set in a haunted house.  Our protagonist is not a happy-go-lucky family man that is often associated with these types of films.  Instead, Norman (who penned the screenplay with his wife, Haley) is not afraid to give us a flawed, damaged protagonist in Robert Foster who has been shaped by a pretty miserable childhood and family life.  His mother (a great supporting turn by Anne Bobby) is not the most supportive and loving woman, and his uncle is downright repulsive.  Brian Chamberlain is very impressive as Foster and easily displays the emotions of a man stuggling to overcome his past so that he can embrace his future by starting his own family.  Turner is servicable as his devoted wife, though her performance drastically improves as the film the progresses.  As a whole, the entire cast is very good and their performances are much better than what you'll see in most low budget film, though Chamberlain is the standout.

Once the action moves from the funeral to the actual house referred to in the title of the film, there are plenty of chilling moments.  Of course, hitting the little girl is a somewhat symbolic catalyst that allows Robert to seek out help at the house, and the scene of handled in an effective and realistic manner.  The scenes inside the farmhouse often have a very etheral look and feel to them, which aids in creating that incredible atmosphere that Norman is so proficient in achieving.  Besides the typical creaks and moans associated with a typical haunted house film, there are some eerie visual elements that are speficic to Robert and his own personal demons.  To say much more would give away specific plot elements.  The ending of the film is surprising and definitely not "safe"  but adds another layer to the film's plot that moves it beyond just being a "haunted house" flick. 

Though this truly is a good film with little to complain about, there are just a few minor issues that some may find problematic.  First, as mentioned, the exposition and second act of the film is quite lengthy and plays out like a dsyfunctional family soap opera rather than a genre film.  This provides valuable characterization for the lead, but some of the more interesting secondary characters aren't given much to do in the grand scheme of the film; Anne Bobby is particularly underutlized. Additionally, the actual house is a great settting and there are some creepy scenes, but it seems like more could have been done to amp up the horror elements a bit.  The "ghost girl" has been done to death in these types of films, and it would have been interesting to see a different approach used.

Overall, The Hanover House is extremely well made and should be a paramount example to aspiring independent filmmakers of how to do it right with very little.    It's obvious that The Hanover House was constructed with passion and care.  This film, along with his short NATAL, has the potential to and will hopefully catapult Norman  to the front of the pack of independent horror filmmakers in terms of recognition and accolades.

Fright Meter Grade:
 


 
 

10 Most Disturbing Death Scenes from 80's Slashers


Ahhhh, the 80's.  To most die-hard slasher fans, they represent the "golden age" of the genre.  I have very fond memories of going to the local mom and pop video store as a kid and being in awe of the plethora of new VHS cover art staring back at me from the shelves.  It seemed that new slasher flicks were being released by the bucket load each week.  While some of them were pretty terrible, others aided in defining the decade.

The problem was that the by the end of the decade,  plots became formulaic and stale: gather a bunch of young people in a remote location and have them get killed off one by one.  Many slasher fans accepted this and, instead of searching for unique plots, they instead focused on the next best thing: the kill scenes and gore!  After all, what would a slasher film be without these elements?  Luckily, filmmakers were happy to oblige, as each new film released seemed to be trying to out due the last in terms of bodycount and gore.  And while there are literally thousands of death scenes displayed throughout the hundreds of slashers released during the decade, a few stand out as being truly memorable because of their sheer nastiness.

Here are my Top 10 choices for the nastiest and most disturbing kill scenes from the 80's slasher era:


10.  Ice Skating Death from Curtains
Curtains stands out as one of the better of the slashers released during the 80's: the cast, the production values, the tension all come together perfectly to form a more clever and serious slasher than was being released during this time.   However, one murder sequence definitely sets the film apart.  A young actress hoping to land a coveted role goes out for a morning ice skate only to be stalked by an unknown killer in a hag mask.   Let's be clear: this scene in not on the list because of gore, but because it truly is a terrifying scene.  It's incredibly shot, thick with tension, and the image of the figure skating in the hag mask and armed with a sickle will not soon be forgotten.  




9.  Deer Antler Impalement from Silent Night, Deadly Night
One of the most controversial slasher films of all time, Silent Night, Deadly Night was protested by angry parents and religious groups and had its theatrical run cut short because of the uproar.   And honestly in hindsight,  it is sort of understandable why these people were upset, as Silent Night, Deadly Night does seem to bask in the glory of splashing the traditional peacefulness of the Christmas holiday with blood and gore.  The most memorable death scene involves a half naked Linnea Quigley meeting her fate on a pair of deer antlers.  It's a nasty scene that scores points for creativity and for boldly showing the impalement and its aftermath.




8.  Raft Massacre from The Burning
The Burning is an interesting little summer camp slasher that has successful shed the initial stigma of  just being a Friday the 13th clone.   The story of Cropsy, the camp caretaker who returns to take revenge for having a horrible prank pulled on him does mix up slasher conventions, giving us a final male.  It also contains a downright nasty little scene where Cropsy succeeds in taking out an entire raft of campers with a single pair of gardening shears!   With special effects by Tom Savini, the scene is orchestrated brilliantly.   We do not see it coming, as we are conditioned to believe the cliche of safety in numbers.  Moreover, the pain inflicted on our young victims is palpable.  Fingers are chopped off, throats are impaled and the camera never flinches away.




7.  Curling Iron in the !*$@# from Sleepaway Camp
Another summer camp themed slasher, Sleepaway Camp deservedly enjoys a massive cult followings.  It's a clever and mean-spirited little film made all the more disturbing because the kids actually look like kids!  Besides having one of the most ballsy (no pun intended) and shocking twist endings in the history of film, it also contains some surprisingly graphic murder scenes.  However, it is the film's least graphic murder, at least in terms of what the audience sees, that makes this list.  Camper Judy, a hateful little bitch that you want to punch every time she is on screen, relaxes in her cabin only to be punched and then have a hot curling iron inserted into her.......well you know.   I have to admit that when I first saw this film, I was not sure what exactly was happening.  Chalk that up to being young, but upon multiple viewings, it becomes blatantly obvious where the curling iron is inserted.  It was wise that the the audience isn't shown much; it makes the sizzling sound effect and Judy's screams much more agonizing.



6.  Drill Through the Head from The Gates of Hell
Okay, it's technically not a slasher film, but The Gates of Hell (AKA City of the Living Dead) is a gory and batshit crazy little from Lucio Fulci that contains a death scene too horrid to pass up.  Forget the scene of the girl being forced to puke up her own guts; the scene where a girl's boyfriend meets her angry father, who proceeds to slowly and maniacally push his head into a large table drill is even more disturbing.   First, there is the slow build up as the poor fellow's head is pushed closer and closer to the spinning drill bit.   We the audience wonder "are they really going to show that" and we brace ourselves.  And yes, they really DO show it.  The camera never flinches away as the drill better enters one temple and emerges from the other in amazingly realistic fashion.



5.  Rat Eats Through Stomach from Epitaph
Epitaph is a little seen slasher from the mid-80's that could be summed up as a guilty pleasure.  It was released on DVD  by Troma back in 2007 under the title Mommy's Epitaph.  Despite being poorly made, it truly is an intriguing little film about a homicidal mother and the family who deals with her crimes by moving from city to city so she isn't caught.  In this particularly nasty scene, the mother ties a helpless psychiatrist, who she discovers has been masquerading as a friend to get details on the mother's life,  in the basement.  Mother proceeds to take a hungry rat, place it in a metal bucket and tie the bucket to the pleading woman's stomach.  She then uses a blow torch to force the rat to eat through the woman.  It truly is a vile scene that I am surprised is not more well known.



4.  Double Axing from Nightmares in a Damaged Brain
Gritty, grimy, and unrelenting, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain (AKA Nightmare) is one of the "video nasties" from the early 80's.  It's a grim film, with a dark and sinister tone similar to Maniac, which it is often compared.  It is one of those films that you feel the need to shower after viewing it.  And no scene contributes to this better than the scene where the antagonist has a flashback to murdering his father and his mistress as a child.  He catches them having kinky sex, and instead of running away screaming with his eyes covered like a normal child, he does the next best thing, grabs an axe and proceeds to hack them to death.  It's an insanely bloody and violent scene, made all the more disturbing by the fact that a child is the perpetrator.



3.  Fishing Gaff in the !*$@#  from The Mutilator
The Mutilator truly is the quintessential 80's slasher film.  This is not saying that it is necessarily a good film (though I do think it is better than it is given credit for), but that it captures the qualities of the slasher genre perfectly.   The isolated beach setting creates a tense atmosphere, and the murders are certainly gorier than a majority of what was being released during this time.  The mean-spirited scene that makes this list involves the killer slamming a girl onto a garage workbench and then forcefully inserting a large fishing gaff in between her legs and maneuvering just right so that the tip emerges from her belly.  It's an unpleasant scene to watch--even for males--mainly because the killer seems to be getting off on his deed.




2. Bayonet Through the Skull  from The Prowler
The Prowler is a gem of a film that still to this day is Tom Savini's crowning achievement in terms of special effects.  It deals with a killer disguised in a World War II get up who stalks and butchers a group of college students during the night of their annual dance.  The film succeeds by layering on the tension and atmosphere and director Joseph Zito, who would go on to later direct Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter skillfully demonstrates his penchant for the genre.  While all the deaths are violent and gory, one stands out as being particularly unpleasant.   A young man preparing to get into the shower with his girlfriend has a bayonet driven through the top of skull until it exits his chin.  The scene is cringe-worthy for several reasons, one being the sound effect of the blade entering the skull. Savini's attention to detail is often displayed, as the victims eyes roll to the back of his head and he heaves for air and relief.




1.  Bandsaw Lobotomy  from Intruder 
Perhaps the last great slasher film of the 80's, Intruder came along at a point when the slasher genre was virtually on its last leg.  Fans had become bored with the stale and predictable formula.   Though Intruder does not stray too far from the slasher formula, it does set itself apart with fairly likable characters, an interesting setting, unsettling atmosphere, and some very stylistic camera work and direction.  The kills are quite brutal; a guy gets his head crushed in a trash compactor (which easily could have made this list), another is lifted and impaled on a meat hook.  However, it is the infamous "bandsaw lobotomy" scene that stands as being the most disturbing and cringe-worthy death scene from any 80'slasher film.  A young worker has his head fed through a meat saw.  What makes this scene so damn disturbing is (a)how realistic the whole thing looks...seriously, check out when the saw hits the dude's teeth! and (b) the camera never, ever flinches away, even as the poor guy's head splits in two.   I truly have never seen anything like this scene since.  Truly unforgettable.




2013 Fright Meter Award Winners



The Fright Meter Awards are presented annually by the Fright Meter Awards Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to honoring and recognizing excellence within the horror genre. The nominations and winners are determined by members of the Fright Meter Awards Committee.
Members consist of horror fans, bloggers, actors, producers, directors, and others, making the Fright Meter Awards truly the most prestigious horror award given. The Fright Meter Awards aim to select and nominate worthy films regardless of budget, means of release, or popularity.


So without further ado, here are 2013's winners...

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

*The Conjuring* winner
Insidious Chapter 2
The Lords of Salem
Maniac
Stoker





BEST EDITING:

The Conjuring
Evil Dead
*Maniac* winner
Stoker
V/H/S 2  






BEST SCORE:

The Conjuring
Evil Dead
Insidious Chapter 2
*The Lords of Salem* winner
Maniac






BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS:

Carrie
The Conjuring
*Evil Dead* winner
Insidious Chapter 2
World War Z 

BEST MAKE UP:

American Mary
The Conjuring
*Evil Dead* winner
Frankenstein's Army
V/H/S 2





BEST SCREENPLAY:

*American Mary* winner
The Conjuring
Insidious Chapter 2
John Dies at the End
Stoker 






BEST SHORT HORROR FILM:

Baby-Sitting
*The Captured Bird* winner
Familiar
The Girl at the Door
SEANCE






BEST ENSEMBLE CAST PERFORMANCE:

American Mary
*The Conjuring* winner
Evil Dead
Insidious Chapter 2
Stoker 






BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Tristan Risk for "American Mary"
Julianne Moore for "Carrie"
*Lily Taylor for "The Conjuring"* winner
Isabelle Nelisse for "Mama"
Nicole Kidman for "Stoker"



BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Ron Livingston for "The Conjuring"
Lou Taylor Pucci for "Evil Dead"
*Rhys Wakefield for "The Purge"* winner
Epy Kusnandar for "V/H/S 2"
Rob Corddry for "Warm Bodies" 



BEST ACTRESS:

*Katharine Isabelle for "American Mary"* winner
Vera Farmiga for "The Conjuring"
Jane Levy for "Evil Dead"
Sharni Vinson for "You're Next"
Mia Wasikowska for "Stoker"






BEST ACTOR:

Patrick Wilson for "The Conjuring"
Patrick Wilson for "Insidious Chapter 2"
*Elijah Wood for "Maniac"* winner
Matthew Goode for "Stoker"
Jeffrey Combes "Would You Rather" 


BEST DIRECTOR:

Jen & Sylvia Soska for "American Mary"
*James Wan for "The Conjuring"* winner
Fede Alvarez for "Evil Dead"
James Wan for "Insidious Chapter 2"
Chan-wook Park for "Stoker"


BEST HORROR MOVIE:

American Mary
*The Conjuring* winner
Evil Dead
Maniac
You're Next



Check out the official Fright Meter Awards website -http://www.frightmeterawards.com

You can also find  the Fright Meter Awards on Facebook here:  Fright Meter Awards

2013 Fright Meter Award Nominations

Fright Meter Awards Organization President Troy Escamilla reveals the nominations for the 2013 Fright Meter Awards and discusses the Fright Meter Awards.


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2013 Fright Meter Award Nominations

The Conjuring leads the 2013 Fright Meter Award nominations with thirteen.  The official nominations were announced today and were selected by the Fright Meter Awards committee, a diverse group of horror fans, which include bloggers, directors, actors, etc. You can log on to www.frightmeterawards.com for more details.
BEST HORROR MOVIE
American Mary
The Conjuring
Evil Dead
Maniac
You’re Next
BEST DIRECTOR
Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead)
Chan-wook Park (Stoker)
Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska (American Mary)
James Wan (The Conjuring)
James Wan (Insidious: Chapter 2)
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jeffrey Combs (Would You Rather)
Matthew Goode (Stoker)
Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring)
Patrick Wilson (Insidious: Chapter 2)
Elijah Wood (Maniac)
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring)
Katharine Isabelle (American Mary)
Jane Levy (Evil Dead)
Sharni Vinson (You’re Next)
Mia Wasikowska (Stoker)
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Rob Corddy (Warm Bodies)
Epy Kusnandar (V/H/S/2)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead)
Rhys Wakefield (The Purge)
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nicole Kidman (Stoker)
Julianne Moore (Carrie)
Isabelle Nelisse (Mama)
Tristan Risk (American Mary)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST PERFORMANCE
American Mary
The Conjuring
Evil Dead
Insidious Chapter 2
Stoker
BEST SCREENPLAY
American Mary (Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska)
The Conjuring (Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes)
Insidious Chapter 2 (Leigh Whannell)
John Dies At The End (Don Coscarelli)
Stoker (Wentworth Miller)
BEST MAKEUP
American Mary
The Conjuring
Evil Dead
Frankenstein’s Army
V/H/S/2
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
Carrie
The Conjuring
Evil Dead
Insidious Chapter 2
World War Z
BEST SCORE
The Conjuring (Joseph Bishara)
Evil Dead (Roque Banos)
Insidious Chapter 2 (Joseph Bishara)
The Lords Of Salem (Griffin Boice & John 5)
Maniac (Robin Coudert)
BEST EDITING
The Conjuring (Kirk M. Morri)
Evil Dead (Bryan Shaw)
Maniac (Baxter & Franck Khalfoun)
Stoker (Nicolas De Toth)
V/H/S/2 (Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, David Geis, Bob Rose, Eduardo Sanchez & Adam Wingard)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Conjuring (John R. Leonetti)
Insidious Chapter 2 (John R. Leonetti)
The Lords Of Salem (Brandon Trost)
Maniac (Maxime Alexandre)
Stoker (Chung-hoon Chung)
BEST HORROR SHORT FILM
Baby-Sitting (Lucas Masson)
The Captured Bird (Jovanka Vuckovic)
Familiar (Richard Powell)
Girl At The Door (Colin Campbell)
Seance (Robin Kasparik)

Interview with LC Holt of You're Next and V/H/S 2


Fright Meter Award Committee member Jay K recently had the chance to sit down with actor LC Holt of You're Next and V/H/S 2 for The Horror Happens Radio Show (http://horrorhappens6.wix.com/show) to chat about both films.  Listen below!



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NATAL Review




Year:  2013
Director:  Corey Norman
Cast:  Jessica Fratus, Erik Moody, Andrew Sawyer, Chara Victoria Gannett
 
 
 
Caressa has just been released from a lengthy stay in a psychiatric hospital.  In attempt to put this past behind her, she joins three friends on a weekend trip to a remote lake house.  Once there, she begins hearing strange noises and quickly questions her surroundings and her sanity.
 
Director Corey Norman's previous short film, The Barn (read the Fright Meter review here) succeeded tremendously in being a subtle, atmospheric, and creepy short film that possessed an equal amount of style and substance.  With NATAL, Norman sheds the subtleness and replaces it with a more visceral tone, and in doing so proves he is more than capable and confident in working with the different shades of the genre.  NATAL attempts to appeal to a different type of horror fan than The Barn; fans who grew up devouring films such as The Evil Dead and Friday the 13th.  This is not to say that NATAL copies these films or, if being honest, is as gruesome as them, but one can certainly recognize and appreciate the understated winks to these films.  
 
The thirty minute running time is handled extremely well; the film never seems too long or too short.  And while there are definitely slasher film elements at play, what is appreciated is that these elements are balanced with the proper amount of characterization.  Often times, short films, by their nature, are not able to develop characters or plot points adequately.  NATAL actually does both quite well.  The four actors in the film have great chemistry together and it is immediately believable that they are friends and have been for quite some time.  Of course, there are major conflicts brewing just ever so slightly beneath the facade of their perfect relationships that are fairly easy to predict, but do not come off as forced or unbelievable when revealed.  The characterization never overpowers the plot, though, as an equal amount of tension and creepiness occur throughout the film.  The strange and incessant scratching noises that Caressa hears at the same time every night are unsettling, as is witnessing the deterioration of her sanity and her relationships in such a remote and confined location.  As the story marches towards its climax, it is not terribly difficult to figure out what is going to happen.  However, what NATAL does is make it less easy to figure out just to who the inevitable horrible stuff will happen.  The frenzied climax is disturbing, though some may be left scratching their heads in trying to figure out just what exactly occurred and why.  For these viewers, it would be wise to suggest that they remember and consider the title of the short film and consider it along all that they witnessed on screen.
 
Overall, NATAL is another effective and thought-provoking short film from Corey Norman and his Bonfire Films.  He is proving that he knows horror, he appreciates horror, and he has a passion for the storytelling aspect of filmmaking.  Between this short, The Barn, and his entry for The ABC's of Death 2 twenty-sixth director competition, M is for Mother,  the potential for him to break into the horror industry with a bang is apparent.  After checking out NATAL, definitely be on the look out for his first full length feature film, The Hanover House.
 
 
Fright Meter Grade:
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Mayhem Horror Film Festival 2013

Report from Saturday November 2nd 2013 by Fright Meter committee member Michael (Mad Mike) Nagy.

Last year I only got to see one film at my local horror film festival (Nottingham, UK) and that was American Mary. This year, although unable to attend the whole festival, I managed to make it one whole day instead!



Upon arriving I sat down in the cinema bar, with a Corona, and said hello to festival organisers Chris Cooke and Steven Sheil (Director of Mum & Dad [2008]).

 Here's what was on:

The Demon's Rook
Written and Directed by James Sizemore.

Synopsis:
A young boy named Roscoe finds a portal to another world where he is taught magic by an elder demon known as Dimwos. Dimwos raises the boy into manhood, revealing to him many secrets.

It was a cracking start to the day, filled with blood, guts and gore!
For my full review head here -  http://mavensmovievaultofhorror.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-demons-rook-2013.html

Kiss of the Damned
Written and Directed by Xan Cassavetes.

Synopsis:
The vampire Djuna resists the advances of Paolo, but soon gives in to their passion. When her trouble-making sister unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna's love is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.

It was my 4th time watching this film and seeing it on the big screen made me fall in love with it even more! Here's my review - http://mavensmovievaultofhorror.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/kiss-of-damned-2012.html

The Borderlands
Written and Directed by Elliot Goldner.

Synopsis:
Follows a team of Vatican investigators sent to the British West Country to investigate reports of paranormal activity at a remote church.

This is possibly one if the best found footage flicks I've ever seen! You can read my review here - http://mavensmovievaultofhorror.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-borderlands-2013.html


From Left to right: Robin Hill, Gordon Kennedy, Me, Jennifer Handorf, Elliot Goldner
I also got to meet the producer Jennifer Handorf, the writer/director Elliot Goldner and the 2 lead actors Gordon Kennedy and Robin Hill.

And, yes, I have a broken arm!





There was also a Q&A session with them after the screening of the film. You can check it out below. I have to warn you though, there are a couple of spoilers towards the end of the interview!




Scary Shorts:
This was a selection of short horror films that ranged from the very clever, the down right insane, disturbing and side splitting hilarious!

Hell No! (4 mins, Director: Joe Nicolosi)
HELL NO is a short movie trailer that explores what would happen in horror movies if smart characters made good decisions. "Spoiler Alert: Everyone Lives"

8.47 (12.03 mins, Director: Nik Kacevski)
Maia will do anything to save her sister, but in this sci-fi time travel thriller, she will only have one breath.

Two Fingers: Vengeance Rhythm (3 mins, Director: Chris Ullens)
This is the story of a very very angry teddy bear!

Grandpa (15 mins, Director: Leslie Simpson)
Milo is a troubled kid. He's having night terrors, little accidents, and his only friend has lost an eye. Luke, his father, is blind to Milo's problems, He's overworked, underpaid and up to his eyes in debt. They live in Grandpa's old house: not so much an inheritance than a millstone round their necks. But something is changing. And Grandpa keeps watch.

The Apocalypse (6 mins, Director: Andrew Zuchero)
Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon.

Tightening Our Belts (9.15 mins, Director: Jordan Shankman)
On Halloween night, a father searches for his son and comes face to face with pure evil.

Sendo Senshi (3 mins, Directors: Alan D. Boyd & Video Mat)
Whilst investigating a Yakuza kidnapping, Sendo Senshi begins to reveal a deeper sinister plot that threatens to tear the underworld limb from limb sending shockwaves across the globe.

The Policeman's Story (7.20 mins, Director: Tristan Ofield)
Responding to a concerned neigbour, a Policeman arrives at a home in the dead of the night to search for Mr. Groboski who has been missing for the past 3 days.

An Alien Claymation (3 mins, Director: Lee Hardcastle)
Dad invites Alien visitors into his home then ends up fighting them.

Home Movies (40 secs, Director: Jordan Morris)
We tried to think of the most twisted, depraved and horrifying film we could make in under a minute, Home Movies was the result, you have been warned......

Fist Of Jesus (15 mins, Director: Adrian Cardona & David Munoz)
Jesus is always willing to lend a hand to those in need... but there are others that will taste his fist!

Rellik (5.18 mins, Directors: David Lilley)
Starting at the end and returning to the beginning, 'Rellik' retraces the steps that lead to a woman's horrific murder. A secluded wood. Two masked perpetrators. Who are they? What is their motivation?

Biocop (5 mins, Director: Steve Konstanski)
A fake trailer about a mutated cop who cannot die and his stuggles to stop the latest designer drug.

I can honestly say, I've never watched a collection of shorts all together that were as good as each of these!


The Machine
Written and Directed by Caradog W. James

Synopsis:
Britain is in a Cold War with a new enemy, the Ministry of Defense is on the brink of developing a game-changing weapon. Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy provides the answer with his creation, ‘The Machine’- an android with unrivalled physical and processing skills.

This film is a sci-fi thriller, and an amazing one at that. It's up there with the likes of Blade Runner!

Here's my full review - http://mavensmovievaultofhorror.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-machine-2013.html

I said a quick hello to Caradog W. James and also got the chance to video the Q&A session after the film. Check it out below...



The day ended with a classic. A classic that I hadn't actually seen before so it was a treat to see it on the big screen.

Lifeforce
Directed by Tobe Hooper.
Screenplay by Dan O'Bannon & Don Jakoby.
Based on the novel "The Space Vampires" by Colin Wilson.

Synopsis:
A space shuttle mission investigating Halley's Comet brings back a malevolent race of space vampires who infect and transform most of London's population. The only survivor of the expedition and British authorities attempt to capture a mysterious but beautiful alien woman who appears responsible.

Super sexy space vamps! What more could you want?! Well, all I'll say is this... This was either the worse film I've ever seen, or the greatest film I've ever seen. And I refuse to pick which one!

It truly was an awesome day and next year I plan on attending at least a couple of more days. I would like to thank Chris, Steven and all the Mayhem crew for making it a memorable time.