Sometimes you can tell a whole story in just a few minutes — like eight minutes and a few seconds, which is all it took Michael Chaves to tell The Maiden. It’s a smart, scary, beautifully made short, available on Vimeo and right here …

THE MAIDEN – short horror film from Michael Chaves on Vimeo.



busanEvery time we think the zombie trope has finally run its course, something like Train to Busan comes along, and we’re reminded there’s still some activity left in the old corpse yet.

Check out this trailer. Things happen fast on the train, and they don’t stop happening. The zombies look to be your standard fast-moving maniacs at first, but — as in all the best dead-folks-walking iterations — it’s the humans that pose a far greater threat. Add the normal glut of bravery, cowardice, fear and rage, ratchet it up to 70 mph (how fast is that in kilometers?), and something exciting and terrifying happens.

Train to Busan s the work of writer/director Sang-ho Yeon, and though it seems impossible, this is his first live-action feature (he’s been an anime director up ’til now). It premiered in the U.S. briefly this summer; it’s currently unavailable in VOD or anywhere else, and there are rumors it’ll be out on October 28. We’ll keep an eye out for it. Meanwhile, watch the trailer and put it on your “Watch When It Gets Here” list …



Okay, this is funny. We’re still weirded out by Benedict Cumberbatch talking American, and it takes a little while getting started, but we’re up for trying to turn, “Do you want to go home with Marcus?” into the next threatening internet meme. (Btw, Dr. Strange premieres at an interdimensional portal near year on Nov. 4,)


ouija-origin-of-evilYes, yes, the Ouija Board is just a made-up thing that Parker Brothers hacked together a few decades ago, and it has about as much authenticity as a haunted version of Hungry Hungry Hippos … but over the years, it has developed a kind of urban-legend power all its own, and Ouija: Origin of Evil plays off all that accumulated weirdness to make a move that seems — at least judging by this trailer — exceedingly creepy. (And yes, we know that “talking boards” and even the “Ouija” name has been around for centuries, but this version, this design, and its popularity as a ‘harmless’ parlor game showed up in the mid-Sixties.)

It’s got a few things going for it. Number one: director/co-writer Mike Flanagan, who’s the guy behind Oculus and Hush. And the cast includes Doug Jones, probably the creepiest physical actor working in film today, Kate Siegel, the beautiful actress who did a hell of job as the lead in Flangan’s Hush (and who also happens, purely by accident, to be married to him), and — get this — Henry Thomas as the male lead. Yeah, that cute little boy from E.T. is all grown up and weeeeird. Talk about your fantasy pedigree.

There’s also something icky and charming about setting it in 1967, when Ouija was still new and nobody knew what it would become. And Flanagan’s done a great job in placing it in the long-ago time (was it really fifty years ago? Damn!), and featuring the (terribly familiar) possession of an innocent young girl, giving the film both an innocence and a weirdness that serves it — and us horror fans — well.

It’s coming October 21. Don’t get it confused with the really awful horror film called Ouija from a couple of years ago. this is all different and, we’re betting, all better. Check out the trailer and circle 10/21 on your calendar:



We’re clearly obsessed here at AmitvyilleNow International Headquarters. We recently were looking at our Twitter account, and noticed in the left-hand column that #AllenIverson was trending … and immediately read it as #AlienInvasion instead.

This of course, immediately brought to mind Robot Overlords, available now on Netflix. It isn’t about an alien invasion, exactly, but they are alien robots, so it’s close enough. It’s also a crazy-fun movie with stars like Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson and that new kid actor, Milo Parker, who was more recently in Mr. Holmes and coming up in Miss Peregrine’s Home for  Peculiar Children. His age is not listed in imdb, which makes us think he’s probably, like, thirty-two.



Yeah, you can shoot it at night. Yeah, you can have them in for close hand-to-hand combat. But you have to do it right, and way back when, future Deadpool director Tim Miller showed us how it was done, in a short animated (though it barely looks animated) short ostensibly produced to promote the video game Arkham Asylum.

All future superhero movie directors/designer/combat masters, take note. This is how it’s done.



Jane_got_a_Gun_PosterJane Got a Gun is not a horror film, but it’s a damn good thriller that will appeal to the same sensibilities. And believe it or not, it’s a Western.

It’s also got a good pedigree. Jane comes from the same director and one of the writers of Warrior, a violent and effective thriller from a couple years back. Even one of the lead actors in this comes from Warrior (and much other stuff) as well. At the center of it all is Natalie Portman, of all people, who somehow manages to back away from her ethereal beauty and show a physical and vocal presence that’s both unexpected and very welcome. And the story is a straight-on, authentic Western with situations and dialogue we’ve both seen before and love to death (literally).

Best of all, the movie is damn beautiful. The trailer — which really doesn’t do the movie justice in a number of ways — does give you a hint of how great the cinematography is. You could watch this thing with the sound off and enjoy it.

And here’s the kicker: it’s playing for “free” on Netflix right now. (“Free” if you’re already a streaming member, that is. How horribly that word has been twisted in this, our twenty-first century!). Amid all the real mediocrity and inexplicable badness of the movies available through Netflix, it’s nice to see something new and actually worth a watch stumbling in from the wings.

Here’s a hint. Give it a try.



Yes, they’re as rare as hen’s teeth, but once in a while, once in a great while, there are sequels to hit movies that are almost as good at the original. Like Rings, maybe?

This trailer for Rings, the third (and last?) in the Rings Trilogy, seems to finish the nearly inexplicable mayhem that began almost fifteen years ago in Ring, a Japanese horror film nobody expected and even fewer understood. But the visceral imagery of that film has lingered for years, even amongst those who have never seen and don’t being to comprehend the first of the film (or remember the second one).

The tropes that The Ring established in 2002 have all returned. It’s so dark it’s almost black and white; it’s wet and slimy and just as full of hair as the original. But now that the era of land lines and VHS cassettes has passed, how will all this work? Here’s a hint:



We’ll just have to wait to see if all the brilliant visuals and the unsettling concepts behind them can overcome the self-imposed barriers of featuring far too recognizable faces from Shameless, Friday Night Lights, and i– God help us — The Big Bang Theory. The anonymity of the bodies in the original film definitely helped establish the willing (or unwilling) sense of disbelief and now, with Johnny Galekci’s face right in front of us, that might not be so easy.

But we’ll see. And certainly at this point, all the choking, grunting, whimpering ickiness of the original looks like it’s made the fifteen-year-trip to Rings.


Tick 4It’s Pilot Season over on Amazon again, and one of the three new candidates is a reboot of The Tick, Ben Edlund’s really remarkable superhero comedy/parody that was a cult favorite in Fox about a thousand years ago, after a healthy cult-run as a comic (also by Ben Edlund). You can check it out here.

It’s not what we expected.

Tick 3Yes, it’s written by the Tick creator Ben Edlund, and even the original TV Tick, Patrick Warburton, is around as a producer. But it’s so … normal, in a way. Kind of dark and gritty. It actually has a plot, and it — it makes SENSE. It was actually more about Arthur and his origin, and about the superheroic world of the Tick than it was about the big blue idiot himself. And the Tick was (almost) as bizarre as you’d expect. But … in a sense, the explained *too much.* It wasn’t just blessedly goofy, the CIty was way to much like, you know, a CITY, and … and the Tick didn’t say SPOOOOON! even ONCE.

Tick 2The costumes are … acceptable. Kind of the New 52 version of what could have worked. The new Tick suit isn’t nearly as BLUE! as Warburton’s was. Arthur isn’t nearly old enough or dumpy enough. And we even know what anti-psychotics he’s on, and how brave and beautiful his sister is (“Somebody new is bleeding.”) by the end of the pilot. It’s all just so real. Just like it never was.

We really WANT to like this new Tick. We’ve missed it; the first show never got a fair chance to become a Simpson-like legend unto itself. But this version, even from Edlund himself, makes one more wistful than gleeful.

We’ll see.



… all over again.

Pennywise is, of course, the ultimate evil entity of the 1980’s, and even now, thirty years later (It was first published in hardcover thirty years ago — yes, yes, thirty years ago, in 1986). The TV version, years later, had lots of problems, but Tim Curry’s portrayal of the ultimate evil clown wasn’t one of them; it’s seared into the memories of a thousand-thousand children and young folks who still can’t get it out of their minds.

Until, perhaps, now. Bill Skarsgard is taking on the role for the remake, directed by the guy who directed the semi-successful Mama a few years back, and Entertainment Weekly has just released a couple new version sof the tweny-first century version. We are appropriately creeped out. It is sleek and seductive and wonderfully evil, and it somehow managed to make an impression without immediately harkening back to (or denying) the Eighties version.

We won’t get to see the full flick for a year or so, and surprisingly few people were excited about the idea of a remake. For good or will, he original film version is deeply embedded in a whole lot of psyches, and so far remakes of Stephen King stuff have not gone well (do we have to bring up The Shining? Do we?) But this actually gives us a little hope. And a few nightmares.

If you haven’t read IT in its original form, or if you haven’t done it this century … try again. Click here to order a copyThe new paperback edition has a crappy cover, but the guts are as great as ever, and you can get the Kindle edition for under ten bucks. You can rent or buy the 1990 mini-series on Amazon Video for as little ar $2.99, or buy it for under four bucks. And no, it hasn’t aged particularly well, though it is nice to see Harry Anderson again. And Seth Green was so cute when he was young and truly nerdy! (Beep beep, Richie). Whatever; it’s only four dollars. Besides, if you hate it you can always just chuck in down the nearest storm drain. Doesn’t matter.

Everything floats down here.

Finally: a full-body image of the new Pennywise. Sweet dreams…

Pennywise 2 

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