haunted house

Freestyle Digital Media Acquires a “Demon House”

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Ghost Adventures creator Zak Bagans is entering a Demon House.

Demon House documents what happens when Zak Bagans – the host, creator, and executive producer of The Travel Channel’s smash hit series Ghost Adventures – and his crew are overwhelmed by a demon possession case some have called the next Amityville, the most authenticated case of possession in American history. After buying the haunted home in Indiana over the phone, sight unseen, Bagans and his crew are unprepared for the demonic forces that await them at the location referred to as the “portal to Hell.”

Written, produced and directed by Zak Bagans, Demon House features Bagans, Father Michael Maginot, Dr. Barry Taff, and Captain Charles AustinDemon House was produced by Joseph Taglieri and Mike Dorsey, and was co-produced by Jay Wasley.

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired the film and will debut it in select theaters nationwide, and will also be available to rent and own on VOD in digital HD across cable, internet, and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media on March 16, 2018.  

H/T: Katrina Wan PR

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Terror Awaits in “The 13th Friday” Trailer

From the director of Alien: Reign of Man comes a tale of terror set in a house in Texas.

In The 13th Friday, a female refugee discovers an ancient demonic device that opens the gateway to another realm, in which she unleashes a dark entity that poses as her daughter. After many failed attempts to have the church explain the creation of her worst nightmares, she learns that the house is cursed by an enraged spirit that died on Friday the 13th. And now a group of thrill seeking friends unknowingly unleash its wrath and damn their souls.

Lisa May, Deanna Congo, Melissa L. Vega, Victoria Valdez, and Khu star in the film, directed by Justin Price.

Uncork’d Entertaunment will unleash The 13th Friday on Video on Demand platforms on October 10th.

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Shaye’s Elise Rainier Returns in Trailer for “Insidious: The Last Key”

This January, paranormal expert Elise Rainier returns to take on her most challenging haunting yet.

In Insidious: The Last Key, Lin Shaye returns to her signature role of Rainier, who learns of a deadly entity in the last place she ever expected: her own family home.

The film co-stars Kirk Acevedo, Josh Stewart, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, and Amanda Jaros. Adam Robitell directed the film from a script by Leigh Whannell, who wrote the entire film series and co-stars as Specs, appearing in the entire film series. The film is produced by James Wan, Jason Blum, and Oren Peli.

Insidious: The Last Key is set for a release on January 5, 2018.

TRAILER: House on Rodeo Gulch

William Scherer unleashes a Hitchcockian tale with the trailer of his latest film, House on Rodeo Gulch.

Uprooted from her childhood home in Texas by her father’s new job, seventeen-year-old Shani Peterson moves to California with her new step-mom, Denise. Their new home, located deep in the redwoods of Central California is a dream come true… until it’s not. With an over friendly Reverend and his alcoholic assistant as their only neighbors, Shani and Denise must unearth the haunting mysteries of the house and its history, before they lose their home, or lives.

Megan Jay Simrell, Chanel Ryan, and Barry Ratcliffe star in the film, written and directed by Scherer.

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RLJ Entertainment Brings Back the “House”

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It’s time to return to the Blue Skeleton as RLJ Entertainment will unleash the sequel The Houses October Built 2, from director Bobby Roe, who returns from the 2014 original to co-write and direct this sequel.

Mark Ward, RLJE’s chief acquisitions officer had this to say about the film:

“We’re excited to once again work with these familiar and committed filmmakers to make The Houses October Built 2 a success,” said Ward. “The first film built a strong following and we’re confident this second installation of the series will not only be seen by fans, but it will also attract new legions of horror enthusiasts.”

In the new film, five friends try to recover from the trauma of being kidnapped last Halloween by the Blue Skeleton – a group who takes “extreme haunt” to another level – by facing their fears in order to move on. As they go back out on the road to experience more haunted house attractions, signs of the Blue Skeleton start appearing and a new terror begins…

The ensemble cast from the original film return for their second round of horror. They are Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Mikey Roe, Bobby Roe, and Jeff Larson. Andrews co-wrote the film with Roe and co-produces with Insidious producer Steven Schneider.

The Houses October Built 2 will be open in September from RLJ Entertainment in select theaters and VOD.

Famous Films Involving Haunted Houses

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On February 17, SP Releasing will unleash the Ghost of New Orleans, a horror film which stars Josh Lucas as a disgraced detective who has a supernatural encounter which leads him to the ghost of a cellist, played by Lake Bell, who needs him to unlock the mystery behind her death.

In honor of this upcoming release, World Film Geek takes a look at other haunted houses that gained fame in horror films, including a recently released thriller that was covered here.

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We start with the classic House on Haunted Hill, the 1959 film that starred the legendary Vincent Price as Frederick Loren, a millionaire who invited five people to a spooky house for only one night for ten thousand dollars. We all know what’s in store for these unlucky folks. The film would be remade in 1999 with Geoffrey Rush in the role based on Price and a sequel to said remake, Return to House on Haunted Hill was released in 2007.

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In 1963, West Side Story helmer Robert Wise directed an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel “The Haunting of Hill House”, shortening the title to The Haunting. In the film, a scientist invites two omen to join him in a haunted mansion where one of them slowly begins to lose her mind. Julie Harris and Claire Bloom played the women with Richard Johnson as the scientist. A loose remake was released in 1999 with Liam Neeson playing a sleep specialist who invites a group of his patients to do a study inside of a haunted mansion. The film co-starred the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor.

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Next, we take a look at The Amityville Horror, the 1977 classic that was apparently based on a true story. In the film, the Lutz family moves into a home in Amityville, New York. Believing the house may be haunted, they send in a priest to perform an exorcism, but the priest is rendered blind by the evil spirit and soon things are about to get worse for this family. The film would go on to spawn a whopping eight sequels from 1982 to 2011 and have not one, but two remakes, a 2005 remake that was criticized for its miscasting of Ryan Reynolds in the Brolin role and the upcoming Amityville: The Awakening.

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One will also never forget the 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shining, which will forever be known for Jack Nicholson’s menacing performance of Jack Torrance, a writer who takes his family to a hotel he has agreed to take care of during the winter. However, the hotel is known for being a house of horrors and Jack solely transitions into a violent man who goes to great lengths to cause chaos with his psychic son Danny, being the one who can warn everyone about the madness that ensues. An official sequel to the original novel, Doctor Sleep, was published in 2013. The film itself was re-made as a made-for-television miniseries in 1997 with Steven Weber in the Torrance role.

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While most of these brand of films are set in the likes of mansions or older houses, Tobe Hooper’s 1982 film Poltergeist did something that would be considered influential and took a more suburban setting in terms of ghosts invading the home of a typical American suburban family. The most famous line of the film comes from the late Heather O’Rourke: “They’re here”. The film would go to spawn two sequels and a 2015 remake starring Sam Rockwell.

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In 1986, there was a film simply titled House, which starred William Katt as writer Roger Cobb, who inherits a house from his aunt. When he moves in the house, he learns that his new house is haunted. It also turns out that Roger has a past with the house when his son mysterious disappeared in the house years ago and his frantic search resulted in his losing both his family and writing career. However, Cobb must face his fears and gather the strength to put an end to the terror. The film would spawn three sequels from 1987 to 1992 (note: The Horror Show is the official third entry of the series).

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Of course, when it comes to the new millennium, the movie everyone can be said to be the “haunted house movie” of this generation can be summed up in two words: Paranormal Activity. Written and directed by Oren Peli, the film wisely uses found footage to tell the story of a couple who move into a new home only to be slowly disturbed by a demonic presence. Known for its shocking twist of an ending, the film went from the unknown to one of the most well-known horror films of this generation. Peli, who got the idea from an apparent experience, shot the film in his own home with the use of a digital movie camera. The film was so successful that it would spawn four official sequels, two spin-offs, and was even spoofed by none other than Marlon Wayans who starred in the film simply called A Haunted House and its sequel.

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Most recently, we were introduced to the Abattoir, a haunted house like no other. In this film, the house was one being constructed by a maniacal preacher with a catch. The house consisted of rooms taken from houses where murders took place. When an investigative reporter and her detective boyfriend go to this small town, all hell truly breaks loose.

Which brings us to the upcoming film Ghost of New Orleans, set for release on February 17. The film stars Stealth’s Josh Lucas as a disgraced detective who seeks redemption when he encounters an experience with the ghost of a cellist, played by Lake Bell, who asks the detective to solve her murder. The film may just be latest in these haunted house films that will stand the test of time in terms of scaring the bejesus not just out of the house’s occupants but the viewer as well.

So here’s a little tip for moving into a new house. Make sure you don’t hear any strange voices or noises because if you do, that’s the first sign to do what the Amityville Horror warns you: Get Out!

 

Abattoir (2016)

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From the director of three installments of the Saw franchise comes this tale of a small town that is not like any other and a reporter who must go there to uncover the murder of her sister’s family.

Julia Talben is a reporter for a local newspaper who longs to become an investigative reporter despite reservations from detective Declan Grady. However, one fateful night, Julia has learned her sister, along with her sister’s family, have been brutally murdered by the seemingly nice Richard Renshaw for no reason. When Julia learns the room where the murders took place has been inconspicuously taken, she turns to Renshaw for clues. When Renshaw mentions the name “New English”, Julia, who remembered her mother was there, decides to head over there despite more reservations from Grady.

Upon her arrival to the small town, she is warned by the town’s sheriff McDermott, to leave town. However, she refuses to leave and ends up in her family’s house, now owned by Allie, who told Julia her mother died of cancer thirty years ago. Grady also arrives in the town to help Julia and the duo stays with Allie. Meanwhile, Julia learns that a local preacher, Jebediah Crone, has been known to sacrifice children who were “pledged” by their parents, the local townsfolk. To make matters worse, Crone is discovered to be the buyer of the room where Julia’s sister was killed because he plans to build a house made up of rooms where murders took place. Will Julia and Grady be able to stop Crone or will an even darker secret lead to something more horrific?

Darren Lynn Bousman is truly a pretty good horror filmmaker with a reputation that began with Repo! The Genetic Opera but broke through when he directed the second through fourth installments of the famous Saw horror film series. With his latest film, with the script by Christopher Monette, the film starts out as a murder mystery that delves into a morbid tale that brings films like The Village to mind yet with something even more sinister in the midst. It must be noted that the title of film is referred to as a “slaughterhouse”, but this is not meant as a literal meaning but rather a metaphorical meaning.

The cast does quite well in their roles. As investigative reporter Julia, Jessica Lowndes brings a stern attitude to her role as a woman who longs to become a crime reporter rather than dealing with real estate and finally lives her dream when the crime involves the brutal murders of her sister and family. Her chemistry with Joe Anderson’s detective Grady is questionable at times, only because the audience isn’t quite sure what their relationship is. Are they married? Boyfriend-girlfriend? Friends with benefits? That part is uncertain, but it is clear that they both respect each other yet at times can’t stand one another.

However, one of the film’s saving graces is Dayton Callie, who plays the insane preacher Jebediah Crone. Callie brings Crone as someone who may not look insane, but his foremanner oozes insanity with him basically controlling the town under his “spell” and his idea of creating a house made up of rooms where murders occur. As for Michael Paré, the legendary actor makes the most of his extended cameo in the pivotal role of Julia’s sister’s murderer Renshaw, who brings the clues that lead Julia to the evil village.

There’s something about Lin Shaye (the pun being intentional as she appeared in the 1998 comedy There’s Something About Mary) that makes her performances in horror films great even if the overall film is not so good all the time. She makes any role work well and while she is perhaps known for the iconic role of paranormal expert Elise Rainier in the Insidious films, shows a bit of a crazy side in the form of Allie, the local woman who lets Julia stay with her and holds a dark secret of her own yet she does it with such grace and wit that it brings a bit of much needed wittiness to a morbid setting.

Abattoir is a pretty decent horror film that may have raise questions, but is a well-shot meshing of crime investigation thriller and small town horror film, thanks in part to the driven performances of Dayton Callie and Lin Shaye alongside Jessica Lowndes as the stern reporter who will do what it takes to solve her sister’s murder. Morbid but not as bloody as one might think.

WFG RATING: B

Momentum Pictures presents a Dark Web Productions film in association with Les Enfants Terribl, Luminary Entertainment, Pacific Bridge Pictures and Radical Studios. Director: Darren Lynn Bousman. Producers: Jesse Berger and Brent C. Johnson. Writer: Christopher Monette; based on the graphic novel by Darren Lynn Bousman. Cinematography: Michael Fimognari. Editing: Brian J. Smith.

Cast: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Dayton Callie, Lin Shaye, John McConnell, Bryan Batt, Michael Paré, J. LaRose, Jackie Tuttle, Jay Hughley, Aiden Flowers, Carol Sutton.

 

REVIEW: Ghosthunters (2016)

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2016, The Asylum

Director:
Pearry Reginald Teo
Producer:
David Michael Latt
Writer:
Pearry Reginald Teo
Cinematography:
Spencer Hutchins
Editing:
Christopher Roth

Cast:
Francesca Santoro (Amy)
Stephen Manley (Henry)
David O’Donnell (Neal)
Liz Fenning (Jessica)
Web Crystal (Devon)
Phyllis Spielman (Martha)
Anna Harr (Gabby)
Kim Shannon (Sally)
Aaron Moses (Stanley)

From the producers behind the Sharknado saga comes this film whose name may seem to capitalize and has elements of a certain hit film that just got rebooted. However, there is more than expected in this very shocking horror film.

A serial killer known as the Night Stalker has killed many in his house of horrors. His last two victims were Martha and Gabby, the wife and daughter of paranormal expert Henry. At the funeral, Henry learns that the killer had died in a car crash and it is then when he convinces his friend and partner Neal that they have to go back to the house and see if they find the spirits of Martha and Gabby. At first unsure, Neal decides to go ahead and calls their partner Jessica. Jessica brings a protege, Devon, while Neal brings his reporter girlfriend, Amy, who wants to do a story on the paranormal.

The team has equipment that is able to track and capture the paranormal. As they search throughout the house, Devon begins to become worried. Neal is still unsure if it is still a good idea because he is worried about Henry, who begins to slowly become obsessed with getting the job done. As for Amy, as she continues with her story, she begins to experience strange visions, including the Night Stalker and his victims, all leading to Amy beginning to suspect that the ghost of the serial killer may be in the house to continue his sinister ways.

The Asylum may be best known these days as the producers of one of the greatest Syfy channel sagas today, the Sharknado films. However, they are also known for making lower-budgeted ripoffs of beloved Hollywood films and bring in twists that make it their own, such as I am Omega and Metal Shifters. For their latest offering, one can see Ghostbusters as the influence of this film and there are some references that would make this referential to the 1984 hit film whose reboot has just been released as of this review.

However, the major twist is that there is no comedy in this and the ghosts are not seen in the vein of the hit film. Instead, writer-director Pearry Reginald Teo wisely made this a straight up horror film that brings in not only references to Ghostbusters, but adds a taste of elements expected in films such as Saw and even a dose of perhaps Paranormal Activity and combines it quite smoothly in its 90-minute running time.

The performances for this brand of film are actually quite well done. Francesca Santoro does quite well as Amy, the reporter girlfriend of Neal who is there to do a story only to find herself slowly gaining a power she never imagined and not in a good way either. Stephen Manley is the polar opposite of Bill Murray in terms of characterization of a leader. Manley’s Henry truly has an obsession of finding the spirits of his family, who are seen in the opening of the film as the victims of the mysterious Night Stalker. David O’Donnell proves to be the strongest of the group in some ways as the level headed Neal, who despite being unsure, does his job to a tee. Liz Fenning’s Jessica is the brains of the group, using mathematics to determine the level of the spirits and determining what kind of spirits are in the house.

The film’s only small flaw is a retread of a montage featuring what may be Gabby getting killed and the Night Stalker, which is seen quite a few times in different spots. However, getting past that, the film smoothly transitions into a twist that is unexpected and shocking that it delves into insanity, ultimately making this one of the stronger titles from the Asylum.

Instead of seeing this as a ripoff, see Ghosthunters as seeing what would happen if Ghostbusters was a straight up horror tale set within a day in a house of horrors. The performances help drive the film as well as the shocking twist that leads into the finale of the film. Horror film fans may actually like this one.

WFG RATING: B

DVD