Rainy evenings call for horror movie binge-watching

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You can hear the rain water cascading against your roof shingles. Glancing between the curtains, a gust of wind lifts the maroon-hued leaves off the ground like an acrobat awkwardly lifting their partner during some sort of freak sideshow and all while the skeleton-like tree branches tap, tap, tap against your mirror-like window on a gloomy, dark, autumn evening. Mid-November weather is the perfect backdrop to the unusual, grotesque events that inspire all the most pleasurable horror movies. Not to mention, it’s the perfect time of the year to curl up and let the spine-chilling temperatures steer your freakish nature into spending multiple evenings binge-watching all your darkest desires. It’s about time you awaken your horror lovin’ spirit and brace yourself for a season of alarming horror film binge-watching.

Clown around with a little Killjoy

If you’re unfamiliar with the Killjoy franchise you’ll need to find the extra time to juggle all the adventures of the demonically summoned doll. Brought back to life using black magic, this ghastly clown is determined to take revenge, in five feature-length films, on the person responsible for killing his owner. Bizarre, yet absolutely delightful!

Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?

Although the most recent Jeepers Creepers film did not do as well in the box office, there’s no arguing that the first two horror movies possessed a rather elevated, hair-raising plot sequence about a mysterious, demonic creature that will run a course through your nightmares… almost as good as it runs people off the road. So, cuddle up in your coziest fleece and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the catchy cadaver tune.

Santa claws his way into your horror movie schedule

With the Christmas season creeping up around the corner, horror lovers must do everything possible to keep their devilish disguise throughout the holidays. Why not raise some spirits with a horrific comedy about the jolly, fat man? He’s making his list and you better pray you’re not on it.

How’s that for a little horror movie inspiration? Tell us in the comments section below.

A behind the scenes look at the Saw movie franchise

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saw movie franchise

Horror lovers everywhere have latched onto the thrilling escapades of the Saw movie franchise, which reveal the motives of the infamous Jigsaw killer. Perhaps this set of films have developed an overwhelming popularity because they’re rather unique. A sociopathic killer who forces his victims through a series of mechanical traps as a means to torture them into discovering if they are worthy of life. Sounds pretty uncommon in comparison to many far-out horror franchises. Not to mention, Jigsaw is also an exceptional villain who has never actually killed anyone. Combine that with all the guts, gore, blood and the iconic appearance of the creepy ventriloquist dummy, it’s pretty clear why this shocking, sadistic film series has made it this far. Yet, even after 14 years of chills and thrills, there are still interesting facts about the franchise that keep creeping their way out of the woodwork.

The first movie set the scene

The first film in the Saw movie franchise really staged the feel for the entire series. It was actually the only one out of the eight movies that wasn’t filmed in Canada, having been shot in Los Angeles. The most interesting fact was that it was a rush job. It was completed in only 18 days without a single rehearsal. Wild right? Crazy fans of the movies may also want to check out the short film, Saw 0.5, which was used to pitch the full-length film shot the following year. Upon watching this eerie short, you may also notice that the scene featured looks rather familiar and that the actor being tested by Jigsaw was none other than Leigh Whannell himself — the director that would go on to produce the first three films in the classic horror franchise.

The inspiration came from…

There were two things that really inspired the Saw movie franchise. Directors Leigh Whannell and James Wan were motivated to create a film similar to The Blair Witch Project after having watched the film and how it was produced on minimal funds. The idea for the Jigsaw killer also came from a personal experience. Wan suffered from extreme migraines and went for an MRI because he was fearful of having a brain tumor. This fueled his backstory behind John Kramer’s condition and made him nervously wonder what he would do with the rest of his life following a negative diagnosis.

Do you know any other interesting facts about the Saw movie franchise? Drop a comment below and tell us all about it.

What were the best horror movie franchises of all time?

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How do you determine what makes a horror movie franchise so successful? Certainly, box office numbers are a reasonable inclusion, but would you also consider the sheer cult following of the films? Would the number of sequels be a fair addition, or unfair because sometimes sequels never do the original franchise justice? Although there are many factors that need to be addressed in order to determine which horror franchises fans long for, the gruesome reality is that a successful horror movie should be based on one detrimental thing… the scarier the better!

Needless to say, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the top three bloodcurdling horror movie franchises are ones that emerged from the 70s and 80s and have since had multiple thrilling sequels.

#3: Nightmare on Elm Street

As a horror movie franchise that literally makes it impossible to fall asleep, or ever enter a dimly lit boiler room, it should come as no surprise that Wes Craven’s classic slasher made the list of top grossing horror franchises. Whether it’s because of the incredibly unique storyline behind the mysterious killings on Elm Street (one that has been changed to explain the depth of Freddy Krueger), or the enigma of the razor shape weaponry, this eerie-sistable horror movie franchise has earned a rightful place in our horror loving hearts. Needless to say, the series has been left open to ghoulish interpretation. What really happened to Freddy? How do his supernatural abilities expand into the realm of human dreams? Will directors be slashing the plot and eventually re-writing a new scripted tale? Only time will tell.

#2: Friday the 13th

Another cult classic that is fueled by a vengeful villain, Friday the 13th is everything horror fans want in a franchise — a devilish killer, lots of bloodcurdling screams and all the unanswered questions that makes us devour up horror movies. Featuring ten sequels since the original film in 1980, each more terrifying and gruesome than before, the hockey-masked Jason Voorhees has had no problems integrating his way into pop culture. After all, would it really be a dreadfully awesome Halloween party without someone dressed up as the slasher sociopath?

#1: Halloween

Especially after the alarming success of the latest addition to the Halloween franchise, it’s clear that fans of Michael Myers still want to peel back his many layers… and directors are fine with taking advantage of his fearsome story. This popular horror movie franchise consists of eleven films (spanning over a 40-year period), novels, comic books, insanely dead-icated merchandise and even a chilling video game. This supernatural bogeyman has always left us at the edge of our seats and personally, I feel that his ghostly shadow will be appearing on the big screens once again. After all, fans don’t seem to be getting tired of ruthless murders.   

With so many horror movie franchises to choose from, which one would be your favorite? Tell us in the comments section below.   

 

The ultimate Halloween binge-watch movie guide

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Whether you start ticking horror movies off you must-watch list when the first leaf hits the ground or you wait until Halloween night to squeeze in all your favorite spooky flicks, you can agree that there is never a shortage of films with the power to raise your spirits. Nevertheless, it’s time to grab yourself some popcorn, hide under your blanket and creep it real until All Hallows’ Eve. That is… if you can handle your boo’s until then.

Halloween (1978)

True horror fans such as yourselves have probably already seen the killer new “Halloween” sequel, but for all the lovers of classic slashers, it can’t beat the original film. Nothing quite screams Halloween like the frightful movie named after the holiday itself. Join the ruthless slayer of Haddonfield, Michael Myers, on his quest to become a devoted sociopath. It’ll be a trick or treat!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

You can argue about whether this Disney classic is really a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, or you can simply watch the adventures of Jack Skellington on both occasions. Regardless, you can’t deny that Tim Burton’s infamous pumpkin king can really get you into the Halloween spirit along with Oogie Boogie and his minions of course!

Scream (1996)

Ghostface’s iconic ensemble still dominates costume attire at gruesome parties over 20 years later, so, it only seems appropriate that this mysterious slasher flick makes our list of recommended horror movies. Based on the killings of the Gainesville Ripper, this violent bloodbath of a film satirizes the clichés that are often overdone by the horror movie genre, yet, it does so in a way that makes you crave every jump out of your seat. Fangs a lot!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Witch please! This is one of those horror movies that is almost too cute to spook, but it’s quite the howl when it comes to originality. Known for its bewitching plot line that is inspired by the Salem witch trials of the 17th-century, but also inspired by the magic of disney it follows the tale of a virgin that lights the black flame candle on Halloween night. Three witches are then resurrected from the dead determined to suck the lives out of all the children in Salem before sunrise… unless otherwise be cursed forever. After all, life’s a witch and then you fly.

Are there any of your favorite horror movies that we didn’t mention in our list? Tell us in the comments section below.

First day of fall must-haves

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horror accessories

Autumn is the time of year where leaves fade from a bright yellow to a scarlet red before eventually falling to the ground and coating it like a rusted pathway. Temperatures cool, days become shorter and at times there is delicate mist that lingers amidst the naked trees with an airy breeze swaying them from side-to-side. In other words, autumn is the most spook-tacular time of year. There is no better way to celebrate the arrival of the autumnal equinox (September 22) then by grabbing yourself some ghoulish goodies and starting a countdown to the most treasured day of the year for horror fanatics. Here are some horror accessories that you surely need before the last leaf hits the ground.

Horror accessories for you

Now that sweater weather is finally here it’s time to say goodbye to your daisy dukes and say hello to the undying comfort of spandex leggings. You could just be boring and buy yourself a couple neutral colors to pair with all your autumn outfits, or you could be extraordinary with a few gothic style leggings that truly embellish your ghoulish personality. Offered in a variety of styles and colors, all of our collection comes in thrilling, demonic-inspired prints such as skulls, crossbones, the devil, bats and spiders weaving a ghastly web. You’ll go simply batty for these glamorous horror accessories.

Horror accessories needed for the perfect night in

By this time of year, we’re sure you have already caped your crypt with some gruesome decor, but there are always a few handy horror accessories that you could use when summer fades to fall. The crisp, cool temperatures of season, combined with the inevitable rainy evenings makes it the perfect opportunity to enjoy binge-watching your favorite horror films. Perhaps you’ll start your movie marathon off with the cult classic, Carrie (1976), and build up your bloodthirsty tolerance to set your eyes upon the popular, Children of the Corn. Needless to say, these spook-tacular thrillers will have you feeling the chills, so you absolutely must stick with your eerie evening theme by snuggling up with your very own fleecy horror blanket. After all, Freddy Krueger can’t hurt you if you’re too scared to fall asleep. Even hold your favorite tasty snacks in a frightening coffin candy bowl and if the dampened evening knocks out your power, or if you simply want to set a more chilling mood, light up the darkness with some black, bleeding candles. What is there to miss about summer? Absolutely nothing.

Which horror accessories appeal to your grim nature? Tell us in the comments section below.

A behind the scenes look into the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre Film

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies

As if the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies weren’t terrifying enough, this American horror franchise is actually loosely based on the Wisconsin serial killer, Ed Gein. A strange, psychologically, unstable man who was raised under extreme biblical teachings and kept rather hidden away on his family’s secluded farm. Much like the famous Leatherface, Gein kept the remains of his victims to be used around the farm — especially human skin which he crafted into his own apparel. Needless to say, there are tons of other terrifying facts about the popular horror franchise.

The movie was also inspired by a Christmas shopping crowd

Although director and co-writer of the original film, Tobe Hooper did admit to writing the script somewhat based on Ed Gein, he also explained that his creative energy was really inspired after a shopping rush during Christmas at a local department store.

“There were these big Christmas crowds, I was frustrated, and I found myself near a display rack of chainsaws. I just kind of zoned in on it… and I thought, ‘I know a way I could get through this crowd really quickly.’”

It is not a true story

Clever marketing at its best. Although the film was an interpretation Hooper loosely based on Gein’s crimes, the backstory of a chain-wielding maniac who killed youth in Texas was all just a fictional creation. In fact, the Texas Film Commission financed the project, which is how the word “Texas” came to be in the film title at all.

The original film was shot on a tight budget

With a budget of only $60,000, Hooper, his crew and a group of unknown actors ventured out into an area in Central Texas to make a terrifying movie on what they called a “shoestring budget”. The filming conditions were also not the most ideal, with incredibly high summer temperatures stewing the bones and rotting meat that were used as props. Gross!

Leatherface wears three masks throughout the original film

Hooper wanted his horrific killer to have a bit of emotion behind his slaughtering escapades. He gave the character three different masks — the killing mask, the grandpa mask and the makeup-covered mask. A bit strange for a character with the word “face”, a singular noun, displayed in his name.

The notorious chainsaw was indeed, REAL

It wouldn’t have been the same movie without the revving noise of the killer’s chainsaw blade chasing victims to their own demise. Although, the teeth were removed for particular scenes due to safety purposes, there were a few shots where Leatherface tripped and fell throwing his bladed weapon forward. Luckily no one was hurt badly in the making of the film!

What is your favorite scene from any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies? Tell us in the comments section below.

4 frightfully fun facts that you probably didn’t know about the Purge franchise

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the Purge franchise

The Purge franchise elevates the psychopathic killer in us all. These four gruesome films focus on a dystopian world in which an annual American holiday allows all crimes to be legal, including murder, for a period of 12 hours. As one of the most favored slasher series, horror movie lovers relish in its original idea and exciting plot line leaving no character safe. Although the newest film premiered in theatres early last month, there are many things that the fans still don’t know about this bloodcurdling saga. Here are four frightfully fun facts.

1) Road rage inspired the franchise

James DeMonaco, director of the series, came up with the idea for the Purge franchise after he was involved in a fight with another motorist. DeMonaco and his wife were nearly killed by the driver because he was drunk behind the wheel. The violent road rage incident lead DeMonaco to wrestle the intoxicated man to the ground while they waiting for the police. His wife said that this incident was the contributing factor that sparked the unique idea.

2) One of the lead characters was cast the day before the original film shot

Rhys Wakefield, the polite leader, is best known for his monologue delivered to the Sandin’s through their home security camera during the intro to the first film. DeMonaco loved his sly confidence and was thrilled when he finally found the actor, as he was beginning to panic the day before shooting.

3) The Purge symbolizes a spiritual renewal

Every year the purge takes place the day before March’s Spring equinox as a way of symbolizing a new beginning or the rebirth of the nation.

4) The director was obsessed with the Charles Manson murders

DeMonaco based many of his creepy, killer characters on Charles Manson because he was obsessed with his case as a child. The polite leader, played by Wakefield, embodied the most spirit of the real-life psychopath, from his sly personality, his cult-like leadership and even the brutal home invasion that was actually loosely based on the violent killing of actress Sharon Tate.

Are you as obsessed with the Purge Franchise as we are? Do you know any more awesome facts that we didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

 

4 must-see horror movies coming to the big screen this month

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If you crave the feeling of your heartbeat racing as you nervously attempt to place your clammy hands into a bag of extra buttery popcorn, or if you’re always too afraid to take your eyes off of the screen, then get your crank turning with these morbid, unsettling horror movies that are coming to the theatre this month.

Down a Dark Hall (August 17, 2018)

This mysterious thriller follows the gruesome events of five teenage girls who were “committed” to Blackwood Manor. These troubled young women become mesmerized by their eccentric head mistress, Madame Duret and are sent on a supernatural journey through a labyrinth of corridors in the school. What the teens discover is that Blackwood Manor is no ordinary boarding school. Aside from its spooky charm, it hides an age-old secret rooted in the paranormal and a gateway to the spirit world.

Slender Man (August 24, 2018)

Yet another horror movie that begins from the actions of teenage girls, four characters from a small town perform a spiritual ritual to awaken Slender Man — a horrifying, fictional monster that abducts children. When a girl from the group suddenly vanishes, they fear the lore of the supernatural being is true. Based on an internet meme, Slender Man is a tall, faceless creature with unnaturally long arms.

Boarding School (August 31, 2018)

The theme of a supernatural boarding school seems to haunt the brains of horror movie directors everywhere, as this next spooky film takes places in a creepy old mansion that was transformed into a boarding school. The events that befall the six teenage children is something out of your worst nightmares as the increasingly sinister story plot leads to a chilling and gory demise.

A Little Stranger (August 31, 2018)

Shifting back in time to 1948, Dr. Faraday travels to Hundreds Hall, a place that his mother once worked as a housemaid. He tends to a patient of the mysterious Ayres family, who have lived on the property for more than two centuries. The otherworldly drama entwines Dr. Faraday with the Ayres family as supernatural happenings lead him to finding out that their stories are one in the same.

Which movie will you be viewing on the big screen this month? Tell us in the comments section below.

IT: Chapter 2, what we know so far

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IT: Chapter 2

It didn’t take too long for Pennywise the dancing clown to come back and give us a good scare, in fact, It: Chapter 2 started filming last week. Since the first chapter was a major box-office success, especially for its comedic element, the second chapter is expected to be a much scarier adaptation.

When is the release date?

Yes, Bill Skarsgard is returning as the terrorizing clown Pennywise. The film is expected to hit the big screen on Sept. 6, 2019 with the title, IT: Chapter 2.

New cast and plot

The sequel will take place 27 years after the events of the original film, meaning it will take place in present day with the kids from the Loser’s Club all grown up. The band of misfits keep their promise of returning to the town of Derry, just in case the blood thirsting clown, Pennywise wakes up from his slumber.

The original cast, aside from Skarsgard (Pennywise) and Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie), will not be returning. Instead the Loser’s club will be comprised of Jessica Chastain (Beverly), James McAvoy (Bill), Jay Ryan (Ben), Bill Hader (Richie), Andy Bean (Stanley), James Ransone (Stanley) and Isaiah Mustafa (Mike).

Production is now underway in Toronto. The film will be comprised of some flashbacks, particularly the black spot and the night Mike’s parents were killed in the fire. It will feature some of Stephen King’s crazy, “cosmological stuff such as the Macroverse and [Maturin] the turtle.

The magic turtle Maturin to make an appearance

For those of you who don’t know, Maturin is an ancient entity, also a turtle, who happens to be the arch enemy of Pennywise. In the original 1990 TV series, Maturin is left out completely, but if you watch the 2017 film closely, there are references to him hidden (ex. Easter eggs). These hidden references were placed strategically for all the hardcore fans of the book.

What are you most excited to see portrayed in the upcoming IT: Chapter 2 film? Let us know in the comments section below.

4 thrilling facts about the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise

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Nightmare on Elm Street

It’s hard to believe that the last time we saw the haunting Freddy Krueger on the big screen was back in 2010. The fearsome reboot movie that was supposed to bring new life into an already aging franchise did the exact opposite. As most fans know, although the movie was critically panned, Freddy has been laid to rest ever since. Despite the lack of recent success, the original 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street remains a classic, frightful film among avid horror movie goers. Needless to say how big of a fan are you? Why are you screaming?

The prequel that never happened

Since it never happened, you shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing about it. Naturally, there were plans for a prequel to the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. A script was posted for auction on eBay containing an unreleased story in the Nightmare franchise in which Freddy Krueger is a pawn in the murder of children. John Saxton, the actor who played Nancy’s father in the original movie, wrote a story called How The Nightmare On Elm Street All Began. It was set in 1969 and has a major plot twist, Freddy Krueger was framed by Charles Manson.

It was based on true events

Director of the original film, Wes Craven, came up with the idea for the franchise after reading several newspaper articles printed in the LA Times. The articles were about a group of Cambodian refugees escaping the reign of the Pol Pot régime. The group fled to America and within a year three of the men allegedly died in their dreams.

There were four endings to choose from  

And Freddy would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for meddling creative differences! Craven wanted his first film to stand alone. He originally wanted a happy ending with Nancy putting a stop to Krueger, but film producer Robert Shaye had other plans. He wanted to create an open ending and ultimately a total of four open endings were filmed.

Freddy was hardly in the movie at all

For a spooktacular film that was about a burnt sociopath, Freddy Krueger was only present on screen for less than seven minutes.

Do you know any other behind the scenes extras? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

Gift ideas for Pennywise fans

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Pennywise gifts

If only one character exemplified coulrophobia (fear of clowns), it’s Pennywise. Of all the personas this cosmic shape-shifting entity takes – Bob Gray, leper, werewolf, iconic Dracula, and Frankenstein’s Monster – the clown is undeniably creepy (and still beats the giant spider, which is next for inducing shivers)! Stephen King’s 1986 book IT gave way to an incredible horror story, with an unforgettable villain that Tim Curry chillingly portrayed in the 1990 TV mini-series and Bill Skarsgård etched into our minds in the 2017 theatrical blockbuster. For fans of the Dancing Clown, we have plenty of delightful Pennywise gifts to satisfy dark collectible hearts and to pacify us until 2019’s “IT: Chapter Two,” which will probably bring more fantastic memorabilia!

Revisit the first adaptation

Critics of the TV adaptation often cite slow pacing and lackluster special effects, but honestly, for a two-part small-screen miniseries based on a 1,000+ page book, it’s pretty damn good. It’s a who’s who of late 1980s’ names and genre fave Tim Curry, fabulous as “Rocky Horror’s” Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Legend’s “Darkness” outdoes himself. Tie a red balloon to this first version of IT, make up a popcorn and candy bowl, and watch this classic with your Pennywise geek.

Who doesn’t love dress-up?

Whether reserved for parties or at-home movie bingeing, why not give your beloved the ability to emulate their favorite killer clown? Curry’s and Skarsgård’s versions were distinctively different looking, but we have costumery for both! For those that favor Curry’s Pennywise with the retro outfit and fire-engine red hair, consider the men’s wig with attached headpiece, and the deluxe costume, available in sizes small to large. Or think about how cool it would be to combine the pennywise hoodie, with zip-up hood, available in adult x-small to x-large, with Rubies’ Pennywise make-up kit so your guy or girl can double the striking effects!

Skarsgård’s Pennywise was older looking, more in tune with the clown’s centuries-old history of terrorizing Derry. The Pennywise ¾ adult mask is latex artistry, detailed with synthetic tufted orange hair and the angular shape that mimics the actor’s face. In sizes standard to x-large, the cinematic grand heritage costume gives your geek the full length off-white suit, complete with ruffles and red accents!

Give them their own pennywise to play with!

Your intended will shriek in evil clownish glee when they unwrap their Pennywise gifts and see one or more of these awesome figurines! The 10” articulated living dead doll Pennywise comes with a red balloon (sic!) and looks exactly like the 1990 character, while Funko’s 8” SuperCute Plush indeed makes the 2017 interpretation amazingly adhorrible! Just as screamingly dark and cool are our selections of smaller versions, including POP!’s Stephen King’s 1990 replica and 2017 Pennywise with Boat, the VYNL 3 3/4” Georgie and Pennywise Set, and the novelty Dorbz’ TV Pennywise. As additional fun, periodically surprise your Pennywise lover with a POP! Movies: IT Bill, Stanley, Richie, Mike, Beverly, Eddie, and Ben, so they can play up their own scenes!

Which of these Pennywise gifts do you intend on purchasing for the IT fan in your life?

Upcoming Horror Movies We’re Impatiently Awaiting

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With such great horror films lately (A Quiet Place, Winchester, The Strangers: Prey at Night, and Wildling, to name a few), we’re like kids let loose on Halloween night wanting more! As we wait for confirmed release dates for Rob Zombie’s “3 From Hell” and the new “Suspiria” (with Jessica Harper!), here are a few upcoming horror movies that aren’t that far away:

Hereditary: June 8, 2018

Death, grief, family secrets, weird events, and a spooky kid – “Hereditary” trailers have us hooked!  How deeply will Toni Colette (presumably) break down, and can Milly Shapiro look any creepier? (We’re guessing and hoping so!) Until then, re-visit the fractured relationships in Pet Sematary, or recreate classic “The Shining” dysfunctional scenes with Danny, Wendy, and Jack POP! figures. The “Insidious” and “Sinister” films are also a great way to get in the mood for what looks to be some kind of hellish chaos under the roof. By the way, you may not be able to wear your Sinister: Bughuul mask to the movie theatre, but how about staying in the evil kid spirit with the Grady Twins’ costume?

The Nun: July 13, 2018

Everyone has seen enough in the “Conjuring” and “Annabelle” movies to know that Valak, the demonic Nun, is one terrifying entity! Whether you prefer the cinematic background crafted for this fiendish spirit, or the historical notations, you can pre-order the Living Dead Dolls’ Nun for August 1st, just in time for this origin story. Bring Her with you to the movies, and why not dress in a nun costume for the occasion?

Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween – October 12, 2018

Fear Street, Nightmare Room, and Goosebumps – three precious series by the king of 90s’ kid horror, R. L. Stine. The first “Goosebumps” movie was pretty cool, and although there have been conflicting reports of Jack Black’s involvement, Ken Jeong and Wendi McLendon-Covey are in it! Sure, a lot may seem cheesy now to us adults, but some characters will always get under your skin. That’s why the Slappy Puppet prop is still a hot collectible and why pre-orders keep rolling in for the Attack of the Jack-Lanterns and The Haunted II masks, due in at Nightmare Toys August 31st!

Halloween: October 19, 2018

No list for eagerly awaited upcoming horror movies could be complete without conveying shrieking excitement for the new “Halloween!” This is the year for “The Shape,” as you can also pre-order a Michael Myers One: 12 Collective Action figure for August 1st! One good thing about waiting to see Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle back in action, and hearing John Carpenter’s updated score, is a chance to re-watch the other versions. Refresh your memory of  Carpenter’s original, which 2018’s film is supposed to be a direct sequel to, and take another look at Rob Zombie’s re-imagining. And when you do see this new one, glam it up with Michael Myers’ jewelry!

What movies are you excited about? The House that Jack Built? The Little Stranger? Hellfest? Tell us in the comments section below!

Must-Have DVDs for Your Horror Movie Collection

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horror DVDs

The Friday the 13th, Halloween, Living Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hellraiser, Puppet Master, and Chucky series are staples (or should be) in most horror collections. However, there are others that definitely deserve a place amongst the Stephen King adaptations and Christmas killers. The following suggested must-have horror DVDs aren’t a finite list but bring their own special touches to this awesome genre.

American Psycho

Christian Bale is the perfect Patrick Bateman in this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 controversial novel. It also has a terrific 80s-inspired soundtrack and a pre-Joker Jared Leto!

The Birds

This 1963 avian nightmare will always be a chilling classic, more so because of what star Tippi Hedren supposedly experienced behind the scenes and while filming.

Candyman

Based upon a Clive Barker story, it’s hard to imagine anyone else but Tony Todd as the 1992 title character. Who hasn’t tried invoking him through the mirror, just to hear his beautiful voice?

The Devil’s Rejects

A fantastic sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses and an all-around horror masterpiece. Note too that it’s Matthew McGrory’s (Tiny Firefly) last role before he passed away in 2005.

Evil Dead

Silly friends, thinking ancient demonic incantations are no big deal. Thankfully, Ash finds his true calling and does his best at chopping up possessed bodies and fighting nasty spirits.

The Exorcist

Linda Blair doing what the possessed do – spout bad words, contort in unnatural ways, and projectile-vomit pea soup. 45 years later (!), this film, and those notes of  “Tubular Bells” still scare.

Hammer Classics

These British films are a who’s who of many legends, including Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Oliver Reed, and Ingrid Pitt. Check out the Volume Two compilation, and of course, the Dracula collection!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

One of the best clown movies ever made, and one that’ll make you see cotton candy in a whole new way next time you’re at a carnival.

Phantasm

It may take more than one viewing to understand this first entry in the Tall Man/Morningside Mortuary saga, but it’s well worth it!

Re-Animator

This loose interpretation of a Lovecraft story has several horror greats- director Stuart Gordon, scream queen Barbara Crampton, and Jeffrey Combs’ in his iconic role as Herbert West!

Trick ‘R Treat

A relatively new addition to quintessential horror DVDs, this goosebumps-inducing anthology film features the devilish Sam, a Nightmare Toys’ favorite.

Which of these horror DVDs will you be adding to your collection? Tell us in the comments section below!

Bring out the Popcorn: Must-Watch Horror Movies of 2018

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must-watch horror movies

2017 had quite the thrills and chills: origins (Annabelle: Creation, Leatherface), returns (Cult of Chucky), creepy remakes (IT), dark humor (Happy Death Day, The Babysitter), and subdued chills (A Dark Song). 2018 is looking just as nice, with a slew of frights to warm our ghoulish hearts. The following are some must-watch horror movies that we can’t wait to watch in the dark.

Winchester

Helen Mirren in a story about the allegedly incredibly haunted Winchester mansion? Enough said! This spookfest hits theaters February 2nd, and may be the closest that many of us ever get to catching glimpses of the intricate mazes of 40 staircases and 2,000 doors. Hmmm, a few Ouija board sessions sound like a good way to count down the days till Winchester’s release…

Hellraiser: Judgement

Arriving around Valentine’s Day, Hellraiser: Judgement will be the tenth film to show us those devilishly alluring Cenobites. This time, they’re part of a puzzle involving detectives and a vicious serial killer. We’re eager to see how Paul T. Taylor compares to Doug Bradley’s unforgettable Pinhead, and speaking of puzzles, what new toys join the coveted Lament Configuration box. Plus, Elm Street queen, Heather Langenkamp has a cameo!

A Quiet Place

This joins the list of must-watch horror movies from its premise alone: a family, headed by real-life husband and wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, live in silence to avoid an unknown creature or force. Trailers suggest that the kids make some noise, and uh, oh! We’ll know early April if it’s something supernatural lurking in the shadows, or possibly a Jack Torrance kind of crazy.

The Purge: The Island

Staten Island to be exact, and how the first Purge Night and ensuing annual tradition came to be. Starring Lex Scott-Davis (Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart) and Y’lan Noel (Insecure cable series), the prequel arrives July 4th. Pack up a beach towel, sunscreen, and flip-flops, and make it a good excuse to soak up free A/C at the theater, before or after the boardwalk.

Halloween

Oh, Michael Myers, we have always adored you, no matter how screwy the series got, or how divided fans became over Rob Zombie’s re-imaginings. Come mid-October, we get to see what was supposed to happen after the original part one. Yes, it’s weird and disappointing to forget about Danielle Harris, but we get Jaime Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, and that goosebump theme song again.

What must-watch horror movies are you looking forward to this year? Tell us in the comments section below!

Get Your Fright on With These 5 Horror Movie Sub-Genres

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horror movie sub-genres

Whether you watch horror movies because you love to be scared, appreciate the F/X, or like to shout back at the screen, there are plenty of great elements in horror movie sub-genres to discover. Although the list is extensive, the following are a few of our favorites.

Paranormal

Ghosts, demons, haunted houses, the fun never ends! From that little red ball that taunts George C. Scott in The Changeling to the triple whammy of terror (clown doll, house atop cemetery, and baaad spirits) that upends the Freelings in Poltergeist, paranormal films are the mainstay of the genre. They tap into our inner fears, curiosity about death, a possible afterlife, and the metaphysical discussions of what constitutes good and evil. Plus, there’s something delicious about propping a Living Dead Doll up on your bed, or leaving a ouija board out on the coffee table, and perhaps seeing what happens….

Slasher

Maybe it’s a way to de-stress, or maybe it’s that damn music set to kill scenes (Michael Myers, we’re looking at you). There are a whole lot of subtexts going on in slasher films and plenty of occasions that seem to spark homicidal urges (April Fools’ Day, Happy Birthday to Me, A Christmas Horror Story, and My Bloody Valentine). Still we adore them, with a Mr. Potato Head Jason Voorhees or a Pop! Funko Leatherface to greet our desk, or by using a Freddy Krueger glove as a towel holder.

Psychological

Psychological horror slithers into your brain, and leaves things that haunts your dreams or occupies your mind during commutes. It’s Annie Wilkes’ actions in Misery, the creepy demon rabbit in Donnie Darko, and Tim Robbins’ turmoil in Jacob’s Ladder. Or it’s the Forevermore dolls, which are disquieting, yet also creepily beautiful.

Zombie

Zombie films are one of those broad horror movie sub-genres, ranging from quirky Cooties, to apocalyptic It Stains the Sands Red, to based-on-a-true-story Serpent and the Rainbow. And then of course, there’s the walking dead sagas from genius George A. Romero. Props such as sleep masks, cooking molds, and magnets allow us to indulge that fondness, without actually having to munch on cerebral matter.

Comedy

Between An American Werewolf in London, Jeffrey Combs’ incomparable Re-Animator, and Cabin Fever, it’s sometimes easy to forget you’re watching a scary film. It can be tricky balancing chills and laughs, but Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and Housebound prove it can be done.

What are your favorite horror movie sub-genres? Tell us in the comments section below!

 

5 Must-See Stephen King Adaptations

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Stephen King adaptations

Stephen King reigns as a master of horror because his stories are incredibly relatable. His characters wrestle with or even embody demons greater than what the otherworldly creatures themselves present. (Re)watch these five Stephen King adaptations, and catch all of the nuances that unsettle simple, everyday life.

Carrie

In addition to the powerhouse performance of 25-year old Sissy Spacek, Carrie proved to also be a notable showcase for Laurie Piper, Amy Irving, pre-House William Katt, Nancy Allen, and John Travolta (the latter two who would reunite in 1981’s Blow Out). Brian DePalma’s 1976 opus of high school insecurity and angst, bullying, revenge, and religious fanaticism is still chilling 40+(!) years later.

IT

As fantastic as this year’s version was, take a look at Tommy Lee Wallace’s 1990 IT , with Tim Curry as the terrifying Pennywise. Featuring a roundtable of that decade’s finest, including Harry Anderson, John Ritter, Tim Reid, Richard Thomas, and Annette O’Toole, this take is impressive for being a two-part series on network TV.  Whispers from the sewer and floating balloons are scary, regardless of which decade they’re filmed in.

Misery

Rob Reiner went from the boyhood camaraderie of “Stand by Me” to the twisted world of Misery, where fandom becomes a writer’s living hell. Long before Kathy Bates was an AHS fave, she was Annie Wilkes, the unhinged nurse who makes James Caan painfully regret his decision to kill off a popular storybook heroine. It’s difficult not to squirm at the sledgehammer scene – brrrr!!!

Creepshow

George Romero + classic King = Creepshow, five dark, slightly campy tales of dysfunctional families, toxic relationships, alien invasions, and germophobic nightmares. Catch a young Joe King as the comics reading scamp who evokes the Creep, and his dad as the country bumpkin title lead in “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.” Additionally, Ed Harris has his last family get together, Adrienne Barbeau meets a beast, Leslie Nielsen and Ted Danson engage in reciprocal revenge, and E.G. Marshall suffers the wrath of cockroaches.

Pet Sematary

Many Stephen King adaptations include creepy kids or animals, and Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary features both. Neither Church the cat or Miko Hughes’ Gage Creed are so lovable after being resurrected, but blame it on Fred Gwynne. Beloved Herman Munster did advise “Sometimes dead is better,” AFTER showing Dale Midkiff the Micmac ritual burial site.

Which of these Stephen King King adaptations unnerves you the most?

Toast the Holiday’s Dark Side with These Christmas Horror Movies

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Toast the Holiday's Dark Side with These Christmas Horror Movies

When the outside weather is frightful, and you’re snuggled up on the couch, wearing fuzzy socks and cozy jammies, it’s the perfect time to watch some holiday classics. Check everywhere someone can hide, and settle in with these Christmas horror movies that remind us of the darker tones the season can take.

Killer Santa

Christmas sadly does bring out the worst in some. In the Mary Woronov and John Cassadine flick, Silent Night, Bloody Night, and in Don’t Open Till Christmas, wearing a Santa suit can get you killed! Then there are films that show another side to the jolly man in red who tolerates screaming babies, nippy pets, and garish mall displays. It’s demons and darkness galore in Santa’s Slay and the ghost-zombie, Krampus, and William Shatner fuelled A Christmas Horror Story.

Also offsetting Santa’s jovial nature are the maniacs who like to dress as him while doing their compulsory deeds. Watch sorority girls and other “naughty” victims miss out on presents in Black X-Mas, To All a Good Night, Silent Night (the 2012 remake of the original Silent Night, Deadly Night), and Christmas Evil. In Once Upon a Time at Christmas, the killer gets a just as crazy Mrs. Claus sidekick because a “12 Days of Christmas” murder spree is better with twice the intent.

Possessed Holiday Icons

Not all Christmas horror movies center around December 25th, but are blood-spattered takes on beloved figures. Mix bits from SyFy bio-hazard movies with elements of Chucky, and you get Jack Frost. He’s the complete antithesis to Frosty the Snowman, and an entirely different story than the eponymously named Michael Keaton tearjerker.

Demonstrating once again how serial killers will use any means to come back to life, the Gingerdead Man is a cult spin on what can happen to a favorite Winter cookie. It’ll be hard to not hear Gary Busey’s voice the next time you bake and decorate gingerbread.

Family Chills and Thrills

Don’t forget about quality time with the younger ones. The enduring enchantment of Gremlins, and The Nightmare Before Christmas appeal to all ages, while the PG-13 Krampus is a light introduction to the horror genre for tweens. All three of these also have hints of what happens when you don’t believe, so be careful what those sugarplum dreams are made of on Xmas Eve!

What are your favorite Christmas movies? Tell us in the comments section below!

Horror Movies for Scaredy-Cats

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Horror Movies for Scaredy-Cats

At this time of the year, with the nights getting longer, horror movies make sense for a night in. There’s a reason that Stranger Things 2 was released in October this year, rather than mid-summer. That said, not everyone is cut out for true horror and gore, so for those who happen to be a little more squeamish, we present to you our list of horror movies for kids and scaredy-cats. Where’s the fun in watching an entire movie through your fingers, right?

The Others

The Others may be dark and have a few mild jumps up its sleeve, but ultimately, this movie is a masterpiece in atmosphere. Nicole Kidman plays a single mother in a large dark house trying to protect her children from the sunlight, which they are allergic to, and the supernatural elements which start to make their presence felt. Following the household as they unravel the mystery that surrounds them, the ending is unexpected, but the lack of gore cements its place as a horror movie suitable for those of us who startle easily.

Arachnophobia

This is a real horror movie if you’re afraid of spiders – the clue is in the name – so use some discretion. If you’re fine with spiders though, then this is a great choice. Described as a thrill-omedy at the time of its release, that pretty much sums it up. The horror lies in the infestation of spiders in a small town and their murderous rampage, but while there are deaths and large spiders, this is a lot more fun and less gory than the most recent installment of Scream.

Hocus Pocus

A Halloween classic (despite a midsummer release), can Hocus Pocus really be called horror on any level, even if it’s in a list of horror movies for kids? The answer is: obviously. Fun, ridiculous, and uproarious are all good words to describe this masterpiece (you know that’s what it is), but who can forget the sadder parts of the plot, as children are murdered for their youth and beauty, and a boy who was just trying to protect his sister is turned into a cat? Add in Bette Midler giving a career-defining performance, and you’ve got one of the best movies on this list. The stuff of nightmares? Or the best night in you’ve had for months? I think we all know the answer.

Casper

Yes! Casper! The friendly ghost who cooks for his human friends, died tragically young, and gives up the chance of a second life for the sake of a man he barely knows. Casper is horror in the form of the fear of losing a loved one too soon, the cartoon villain we all love to hate in movies, and even the school bully who wants to make life miserable for the new kid on the block. Like others in this list, this is one horror movie for kids that adults scaredy-cats will also adore.

What other horror movies would you recommend for kids and scaredy-cats? Share your favorites with us in the comments section below!

5 American Horror Story Characters Inspired by Real Stories

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 5 American Horror Story Characters Inspired by Real Stories

While it’s comforting to know that many horror movies are products of a creative imagination and fictitious, there are many scary shows and horror movies based on true stories. Here are five American Horror Story plotlines and characters that were inspired by real events and stories.

The Black Dahlia, ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’ – Season 1

Most horror fans are familiar with the chilling story of the Black Dahlia. Elizabeth Short, portrayed by Mena Suvari in the first season of the nightmarish anthology horror series, was an aspiring actress whose severely-mutilated corpse was discovered in a hotel in Los Angeles. Her body had been severed at the waist, and all the blood had been drained from it. The killer had carved a Glasgow smile on her face by cutting the corners of her mouth to her ears, a haunting image that inspired a number of movies and books. Her murder remains a mystery till today.

Dr. Thredson, ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ – Season 2

In the second season, Zachary Quinto plays the role of Dr. Thredson, whose character is based on the story of Ed Gein, a notorious murderer and grave-robber who had a dysfunctional relationship with his fanatically religious mother. A search of his derelict Wisconsin farmhouse lead to the gruesome discovery of the decapitated body of a store clerk he had murdered and the head of a local tavern owner, along with several disturbing items fashioned out of human skin and bones. Gein admitted that soon after his mother’s death, he started crafting a suit made from the skin of dead bodies so that he could pretend to be his mother.

Madame Delphine LaLaurie, ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ – Season 3

It’s hard to imagine that the abominably racist and sadistic Madame LaLaurie could be based on a real person. In season three, Kathy Bates plays the role of Marie Delphine LaLaurie, a prominent New Orleans socialite who tortured and murdered many of her slaves at her mansion. The atrocities that she committed came to light following a fire that broke out at her mansion. After a mob of people attacked the residence, she escaped justice by fleeing to France. The mansion, which has now been restored, still stands today at 1140 Royal Street.

Edward Mordrake, ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ – Season 4

Many of the characters in the fourth season are based on real people, including the performers Pepper, who suffered from microcephaly and Jimmy Darling, who had ectrodactyly, but did you know that Edward Mordrake, the man with a second face on the back of his head, is also based on a true story? Played by Wes Bentley, Mordrake believed that the face was evil and that it whispered atrocious things to him at night. He repeatedly begged doctors to have it surgically removed, and ultimately, he committed suicide at the age of 23. In the letter that he left behind, he again urged that the demonic face be destroyed prior to his burial.

Jeffrey Dahmer, ‘American Horror Story: Hotel – Season 5

The hotel in season 5 of American Horror Story is said to be partly based on the Hotel Cecil, located in Los Angeles. Many serial killers are rumored to have stayed at the hotel, including the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer, played by Seth Gabel. Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, was a serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys. What makes the story even more gruesome is that he was known to have dismembered and even eaten his victims after raping and killing them while looking deceptively “normal.”

What are some of the horror movies based on true stories that you have seen? Join the conversation by commenting below.

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

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Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

There’s something inherently creepy about dolls, but it’s when these inanimate toys get possessed by demonic forces that horror fans flock in droves to the movie theatres. From the homicidal Chucky to the eerie clown doll from Poltergeist, nightmare toys always deliver, and Annabelle: Creation is no different. Following his horror debut, “Lights Out,” David Sandberg is back with the spooky origin story of one of the creepiest dolls in horror history.

The movie starts with Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia), doll-maker, meticulously crafting a limited edition doll that he carefully places in a wooden box. He gets interrupted by someone slipping a note with the words “find me,” and so begins the nail biting plot. When the movie reveals that it’s Samuel’s daughter, Bee (Samara Lee), who loves to play hide and seek, we also meet his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto).

On their way home from church one day, Bee is the victim of a fatal automobile accident. Consumed with grief at the loss of their only child, Samuel and Esther spend the next 12 years living in seclusion in their remote country home. They then decide to welcome six orphaned girls to their home. Accompanied by Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), they are immediately captivated and mesmerized by the mansion.

We witness Sandberg’s deft filmmaking genius as he slowly and eerily sets the stage for the impending danger in store for the characters. He takes his time and deliberately introduces seemingly innocuous elements that foreshadow the horrors to unfold, an old stair lift, a malfunctioning rope-operated elevator, the chilling sound of the bell used by Esther, now bedridden bed due to a mysterious accident, to summon Samuel.

Janice (Talitha Bateman), who has polio and walks with the help of a leg brace is mysteriously drawn to Bee’s old room although Samuel keeps it locked and makes it clear to all occupants of the house that the room is off-limits. Most characters experience some form of hair-raising encounter with the presence, but it’s Janice who feels that the evil is coming after her. She eventually enters the bedroom, which is unlocked by the presence, and she faces a ghostly version of Bee. She makes the mistake of opening a closet where our favorite creepy doll had been locked away, surrounded by pages from the bible. From then on, the occupants of the house face the daunting task of saving their soul from the demon.

We won’t ruin the movie for you since every horror fan needs to experience Sandberg’s impressive mastery of cinematography, lighting, sound, and most importantly astounding sense of timing for themselves.

What did you think of Annabelle: Creation? Share your Annabelle review by commenting below.