The Devil Inside Review

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The Devil Inside, directed by Stay Alive‘s William Brent Bell, is the story of a young woman whose mother was committed to an asylum after she murdered three people during an exorcism; her own exorcism. The young daughter is now traveling to a hospital in Rome, where her mother was transferred, to examine the validity of her possession. She brings along a film crew to document the experience. As you have probably guessed from that last sentence, The Devil Inside is a found footage movie. More to the point it may be the end-all-be-all argument against found footage movies forever more. It is certainly among the worst I have yet seen.

In in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I am a fan of this still young subgenre. I feel there is something to be said for the dismantling of the fourth wall and the safety net it provides us as jaded horror fans. That being said, I refuse to accept that any horror film told through the lens of a character-mounted camera is worth celebrating. But for much of its runtime, The Devil Inside‘s most heinous crime is that it courts convention with boyish adoration. It brings in plenty of manufactured experts to interview, it points out the multiple cameras in a given space, and employs some of the best looking fake news footage to date. Basically, it goes full faux. Within those moments, there are some exceedingly conventional tropes that will startle but not scare, eliciting a reaction that won’t linger in your consciousness beyond dying of the last murmur in the theater. And then there are some moments of stillness and some wicked contortion artistry that work fairly well and seem to promise a wholly passable found footage romp.

Halloween White Elephant: Report Card

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With just a few days remaining in Horror’s Not Dead’s first ever Halloween White Elephant, I’ve decided to reveal the twist to the game that none of our writers were aware of. I have been keeping a running score going based on a completely arbitrary system that I made up as I went along. It is based on the appropriateness of their selections, how well the person for whom they were selecting them enjoyed the film, and…anything else I want. So let’s take a look at where we are so far…

Blu Review: Zombie (1979)

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In our last installment of the Blu Review we covered a film directed by the great William Lustig: Maniac Cop. This time around we are delighted to tear into one of our all time favorite horror films released on Blu-ray by the company William Lustig founded to give horrorphiles like us the precise degree of frenzied glee that I am currently experiencing. Today, we look at Blue Underground’s release of Lucio Fulci’s immortal, no pun intended, Zombie. We’ll break everything down of course, but in case you happen to have a boat to catch or are otherwise pressed for time, we’ll summarize by asserting that you need to shamble your way to your local media store and buy a copy right this zombin’ second.

Halloween White Elephant: Black Roses (1988)

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From Noah–“BLACK ROSES is not a classic by any means but I personally have a blast with it’s melding of demons and heavy metal. It really is the epitome of 80s horror where they throw logic out the window and just try and go balls out. I feel Brian can often times be sensitive to the B-movie ethics at work in 80s horror, so I figured this would be either a good test of wills for him or hopefully, at best, would add another fun flick to his roster of movies he enjoys.”

When Noah assigned me Black Roses, I have to admit I was both excited and filled with trepidation. While I had often heard this was an incredibly entertaining flick, it resides within a weird substratum of horror of which I am virtually ignorant: heavy metal horror. I had previously seen 1986’s Trick or Treat at Terror Tuesday, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but that was the extent of my foray into the subgenre. So would this sophomore experience prove just as enjoyable…or completely disastrous? My outlook on the situation did immediately improve once I found out my only rental option for this film was VHS.

Blu Review: Maniac Cop (1988)

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If you haven’t seen William Lustig’s seminal undead law enforcement horror film from 1988, part of me wants to beat you over the head with a nightstick. But a larger part of me, the part that isn’t currently being indicted in several states, is envious that you now have the ability to see it for the first time via Synapse Film’s stunning Blu-ray release. For years, Maniac Cop languished in limbo between VHS and DVD. What few DVD releases were available during this dark time were just a half-step above complete bootlegs. But then, in 2006, Synapse Films gave us the only loving-treated, passable release of Maniac Cop and there was much rejoicing. Now, Synapse has just released the first ever (at least in the U.S.) Blu-ray edition of the film and we couldn’t wait to read you its rights…because it actually doesn’t have many wrongs.

Halloween White Elephant: Child’s Play (1988)

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From Noah–“I assigned Brian CHILD’S PLAY because, as a horror fan, it’s beyond shameful to never have seen the first entry to this series. I know some people will debate on how the entire thing stands up as a whole, but I love all of the CHILD’S PLAY movies. The best thing about the first one being that you have a demon puppet terrorizing a little boy. A child. And I’m all for any horror movies where a child gets terrorized. I was also interested to hear how well Brian thinks this stands up having watched BRIDE OF CHUCKY with him recently.”

Every kid wants a Good Guy doll! Little Andy wants one so bad that his mother actually agrees to purchase one from a greasy hobo in the alley behind her place of employment. What every kid may not want–maybe–is a Good Guy doll possessed by the spirit of a dead serial killer. Unfortunately, that was exactly the little bonus that came with the dubious Good Guy doll Andy’s mom illicitly acquired. Charles Lee Ray, alias The Lakeshore Strangler, alias Chucky, is now committing homicides from beyond the grave as the Lilliputian plaything. Guess Andy’s mom should have bought him a Nintendo.

Introducing HND’s Halloween White Elephant!

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Can you feel it? That palpable fervor in the air, that eerie drop in temperature and the prevalence of scores of leaves on the ground means that October is here, and our favorite holiday is right around the corner. To celebrate the coming of another glorious Samhain, we here at Horror’s Not Dead decided to put a sick twist on a tired old convention normally reserved for Christmas. To wit, I give you the nastiest blood-soaked gift exchange to ever disgrace the spirit of giving. Welcome to the Horror’s Not Dead Halloween White Elephant.

How Does It Work?

Each member of the staff was randomly assigned another staff member for whom he would select four horror films. These may be films the person choosing believes their designated staff member hasn’t seen or just favorites of their own or just films to which they want to mercilessly subject their designated staffer. Every week day in October we will post another review as our staff makes their way through their assigned films. With each review, we will also post the assigner’s reasons for selecting that film for that viewer. Confused yet? Ok, let’s break it down like a fraction…

Let’s say I’ve been assigned Jacob Hall. I would tell Jacob Hall to watch Bubba Ho-Tep without telling him why. But then when Jacob watches Bubba Ho-Tep and posts his review, my reasons for choosing this film for him will appear at the top of that review. This should be a fun way for each of us to reveal what we know, or criminally misunderstand, about each other as horror fans. Tomorrow we will post the first review and we think you’ll have fun following along. If not, I would encourage you to please please please watch as many horror films as possible this month just for good measure.

Terror Tape of the Day: Masterblaster

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Here at HND, we are die-hard advocates of VHS. Many of us are collectors of these ancient relics of a better, purer, more exciting time in horror history while the rest of us just marvel at the artistry of the VHS cover art. With that in mind, we started this daily feature to celebrate all that is great about the hand-painted monsters and gorgeous gruesomeness that used to grace the boxes on the shelves of our local videostores. Many of these films never made the jump to DVD, and many more did make the jump, but at the expense of the spectacular cover art. So fast forward past the bump to take a gander; no need to adjust your tracking.

Today’s Terror Tape is…

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