Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 5, News & Events


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Not necessairly the most important headlines of 2008 (yes, the writer’s strike ended), rather the, “Oh, I remember that” variety.  Note there is no chronological order to the listing of these events, the majority of which are derived from the creation/cessation of various production houses with the potential to shape the horror flow for the next few years.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

Review: THE SUBSTITUTE (aka VIKAREN)


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Directed by Ole Bornedal, 2007
Written by Ole Bornedal, Henrik Prip

There is a lot in this world I do not have a full grasp of.  Quantum computing, fluid dynamics, the undetermined arrival of The Singularity, chirality, and John McCain.  But the angry living dead aside, there is much I have taken the reins on, one area of which is the hybridization of horror and science fiction.  It is this fondness of the field that leads me to utter bafflement as to the existence of THE SUBSTITUTE, a great little film from Denmark.  It is a well made adaptation of an intelligent script about children and their alien substitute teacher (and yes, I too am pretty sure I owned an R. L. Stine book with this plot).  It is a lot of fun and I could recommend it to anyone.

My bewilderment has nothing to do with the movie, but the treatment of the movie.  Perhaps most baffling is the absence of a single review on them there Rotten Tomatoes.  I know critics and genre bloggers alike have gotten their mitts on the flick.  Their praise is what drew me to THE SUBSTITUTE in the first place, so why the curious void of more publicly available praise?  That’s okay, though.  Not a writer’s fault if a film is underexposed, just odd considering even fucking ICE SPIDERS has at least one review on the huge movie hub.

I further do not comprehend Ghost House Underground’s cover for their DVD.  Earth kind’s deductive reasoning would lead any half intelligible humanoid to assume THE SUBSTITUTE is a movie about ghosts.  It is not.  There is not a single ghost in the movie.  I don’t think anyone even says the word ghost throughout the 93 minute duration.  I know the default response to a marketing obstacle is to pull a bait-and-switch.  I minored in mass communications, I get the concept, but how about this, GHU?  Market it for what it is.  A wicked movie about an alien who terrorizes the middle schoolers of a small community.  Novel, I know.

And for the love of Advertising 101, get a better slug to throw on your DVD’s lame Photoshop cover.  I don’t know who the jerk is that said, “A clever version of THE FACULTY”, but they’re an asshole.  THE FACULTY is a clever movie.  Asshole.

Last Week in Horror: September 14th to the 21st


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Last Week in Horror found no shortage of minor announcements, but enough of which excite me in earnest.  In the world of TV, Goyer and “TREK” vet Braga sell an intriguing hour long series premise to ABC, HBO renews the proven cool “TRUE BLOOD” and Sci-Fi orders full the unproven “WAREHOUSE 13″.

A few pieces of remake news, though nothing mind blowing.  And then we get to one of the juiciest nuggets of the week that I think may be a beacon of great things to come.  Two outfits have teamed up to finance four films from a quartet of rising independent filmmakers.  I’ve only seen a few of their earlier films, but all four are names I’ve only ever seen associated with positive buzz, so to know they have a new house over their heads is very cool.

Oh, and does anyone else find this innocent picture of Earth during a solar eclipse as ominous as I do?




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