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Monday, August 26, 2019

WHERE THE SCARY THINGS ARE: EPISODE 9 - DO YOU BELIEVE IN ALIENS?



In this episode MonsterMash Ken and Muse review the movie Fire In The Sky the Travis Walton alien abduction experience and talk all things Extra Terrestrial. We interview UFO expert Kathleen Marden, from MUFON and Relative of Betty and Barney Hill. We also speak with Ariel Fisher from Shudder's The Bite. Creature Feaute of the week with Chris the Creature: Altered from 2006. Muse's Sinster6: Worst Case Scenarios! Check it out.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

WHERE THE SCARY THINGS ARE: POPCORN FRIGHTS W/ PROMOTE HORROR!



In this episode HorrO from Promote Horror recaps his 9 day adventure at Popcorn Frights. He interviews the winner of the Feature Films Jury Prize Adam Egypt Mortimer's Daniel Isn't Real as well as Director Tom Botchii Skowronski from the film Artik and Director Micha Gallo from the film Itsy Bitsy! Enjoy...

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

ALIVE REVIEW



A severely injured man and woman awake in an abandoned sanitarium only to discover that a sadistic caretaker holds the keys to their freedom and the horrific answers as to their real identity. 

Starring: Thomas Cocquerel, Camille Stopps, and Angus Macfadyen

Directed by: Rob Grant

Written by: Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent

  “Alive” opens in a familiar scene of a man (Thomas Cocquerel) strapped to a hospital bed. Not sure what’s happening and injured, he manages to free himself, and make it to the hallway. No it’s not the zombie apocalypse, but may be something just as bad. Another man (Angus Macfadyen) appears and drags him back to where he belongs. He awakens to find a female patient (Camille Stopps) next to him, and also at the mercy of this man.
  For those who simply like watching others be tortured…enjoy! The man verbally abuses them, and of course physically abuses them as well. He insists that everything he does is for them, but he seems to be hurting them more than helping. One scene that stands out is when the man tries to get the male patient to exercise, but goes way too far and reinjures his knee. 
  If you like some blood, guts, and body parts to come along with your torture…enjoy! There’s only so much abuse the pair can take so they make several attempts to get out of the sanatarium, but find that to be a tough task. Along the way they find bodies and heads in a freezer. They try a stairway, but struggle to get through it because it’s covered in blood, and body parts. 
  Most of all, if you like an ending with a good twist…enjoy! The pair not only struggle to get out of there, but also can’t remember who they are. The clues to what is really happening here are sprinkled in along the way. Some are there in plain site, if the audience knows what they’re looking for. Other clues are in what the man says to them, and why he never stops chasing after them. 
  “Alive” might have the audience thinking it’s similar to a Saw movie. Random people taken hostage, tortured by a crazy man, a struggle to get free, and a big twist to close it out. It might come across a little slow in parts, especially the first half. However, it’s worth noting that Angus does a terrific job as the bad guy, and has some really good and crazy moments. Like some of the Saw films, it all comes down to whether the audience will go for the twist. It’s kind of crazy, but is set up well in the story so with that I give it 3 pools of blood.

  HorrO

*There are mid and after credit scenes
*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Saturday, August 17, 2019

TOE REVIEW



A starving boy eats a toe he finds sticking out of the ground. Later that night, something ghastly comes to his bedroom wanting it back.

Directed by: Neal O’Bryan and Chad Thurman

  A boy is on the hunt for food in a world that looks like it’s severely lacking any. He sees a crow and tries to catch it, but ends up flat on his face. He looks up to find a toe sticking out of the ground, so he decides to break it off and take it home. Once home, he steams, and eats it. However, will this become his last meal?
  First and foremost this is a must see film just to watch the stop motion. To start the boy looks awesome with a lot of focus on how his eyes react to everything going on. They set him up in a dark and creepy setting, including a run down shack. They add some nice details here and there showing they really know what they’re doing. 
  “Toe” is really amazing to watch, and gets even better once danger comes whispering at the boy. The creature they make is even more terrific than the boy. It takes the weirdest they created to this point to a new level. The only complaint might be in how it ends. It’s an interesting shot, but maybe it could have gone in a different direction.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Friday, August 16, 2019

ARTIK REVIEW



A comic book obsessed serial killer teaches his son how to get away with a series of brutal murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man who threatens to expose everything.

Starring: Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo, and Lauren Ashley Carter

Written and directed by: Tom Botchii

Tom Botchii's 2019 release, and feature debut, Artik does what the MCU and DCEU attempted--it makes comic books great again. Artik is a cacophonously fun tour de horror, effluviating with passion and blood...tons of blood. 

Chase Williamson stars as straight-edge badass Holton Shudcase trying to overcome his past and his flaws; it isn't until he encounters Boy Adam (brilliantly portrayed by Gavin White) that he has to confront his demons, literally, when he is faced with the titular character, Artik. Artik will go to any length to get what he wants from Holton, even if that means forcing him to consume his truest poison, attacking his straight-edge nature, which cements Artik as the comic book villan in Holton's life. Jerry G. Angelo gives a wonderful, albeit occasionally quiet, performance as Artik, making you sit on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the film. Nearly every time Angelo is on screen my anxiety was akin to getting a fork shoved through my cheek. His mixture of physical and mental torture, the mental is more evident in his dealings with Holton, makes him a deadly force to be reckoned with . Rounding out the cast is the ever entrancing Lauren Ashley Carter playing Flin Brays; a doting wife who just wants her enclave of slave boys to give her a successful harvest. 

Artik is expertly propelled by its score and cinematography. This film marks Botchii's third collaboration with Director of Photography Martin Moody--what a match made in heaven. Botchii and Moody (which sounds like a neo-noir couple of detectives) have created a fluidity with their filmmaking fraternization. The cinematography is expertly paired with a Jaws-esque (in making history, not sound) score. While the directing, editing, and [extremely fun] gore make this film a tsunami of suspense, the score taps into the base of your spinal chord and does NOT let you go--hook this film up to a defibrillator because it could resuscitate the life back into the deadest of the dead. 

While Lauren Ashley Carter gets many scenes to shine, none is more apparent than her role in the denouement. There is a chaotically intense fight scene, again fight choreography by Botchii, between her and Holton that shows just how far she will go to make sure her noxious way of life does not change. This is a role that seems suited specifically for Carter, as she fully embodies this character bringing such incredible life to this immoral human.

While no film is without its flaws, the pros significantly outweigh the minuscule cons of this film; especially if you consume it under the predisposition of a live comic book adaption. There are a few times where Angelo’s voice is a grumbled, but this just seems to add to the terror of the film. The only thing I could ask for of this film is 30 more minutes- - or at least a live feed of Artik’s torture chair.

Overall this film is a fresh sunflower in a meadow of terrible Hollywood [horror] drivel. It truly makes sense Artik is being distributed by Dread. At the end of the day I’d give Artik 8 blood soaked sunflowers out of 10.

Guest Review by: Brendan Jesus 
Follow him on Instagram @filmmaker_guy 

Art and Details Released for ARTIK Disc - On VOD and Blu-Ray Sept. 10, in theaters Sept. 6 from Epic Pictures and Dread

TERROR ROAD



On a dark, eerie night, a young woman makes a wrong turn through a long stretch of deserted woods. But as the night goes on, she’ll soon learn you’re never truly alone on Terror Road.

Starring: Surely Alvelo, and Brayden Benson

Directed and written by: Brian Shephard

  Anna (Surely Alvelo) is making her way home, but unfortunately for her she’s driving down Terror Road. She makes a call home letting them know she’s running late, and when she hangs up terror makes itself known. She pulls over to check it out, finds nothing, and just when she’s about to leave something lands on the car. Everything seems to be alright when a boy (Brayden Benson) appears at her window, but looks can be deceiving. 
  Again horror fans are given a short horror film set with someone driving down a dark road. The setting is dark and spooky. This one even starts with a shot of the road sign saying “Terror Road.” Surely does her best to portray a character that has no idea that she has made a huge mistake, and is also pretty good when it’s time to be really afraid. 
  So does “Terror Road” present anything different for horror fans? Probably the best thing about it is the boy (Brayden Benson) who scares Anna. At first he’s just a normal looking boy, but then changes to his creepy creature form. They do a terrific job with his look, and make the most it to scare Anna and the audience. Also, they do a nice job with how they reveal exactly what the boy has become.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Thursday, August 15, 2019

HOW TO BE ALONE REVIEW



Part psychological thriller, part horror comedy, Stranger Things writer Kate Trefry’s totally clever film features It Follows star Maika Monroe as a woman whose deepest fears seem to manifest physically when her husband (Joe Keery) leaves for the night shift.

Starring: Maika Monroe, Joe Keery, and Evan Miller

Directed and written by: Kate Trefry

  Jack (Joe Keery) is about to head out for his night shift, but is concerned about leaving his wife, Lucy (Maika Monroe), home alone. He reminds her stay inside and lock up, and she assures him she’ll be fine. However, after he leaves she doesn’t feel as confident about that. She goes over rules on how to be alone, and sets them in motion. The rules are good, but it doesn’t keep her fears from creeping in the door.
   This is another example of a film focusing on a character fighting their biggest fears. The audience is taken inside of Lucy’s head hearing her talk through her struggles. She continues to have visions of weird stuff happening like a strange guy coming out of a cabinet, and a baby sitting in blood. Her struggles are also real life related, as she wonders why her husband is still with her, and why she doesn’t have a real job.
  “How to Be Home Alone” is an interesting way of showing how someone should overcome their fears. It’s dark and creepy, but also sprinkles in some light humor here and there. It keeps the pace moving, as it goes back and forth between her nightmares and reality. Most of all, it’s a film about fear that’s not afraid to take a few risks itself.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

  
  10 years ago HorrO’s Gory Reviews was born! To think all I wanted to do originally was write horror, but just couldn’t settle on one idea. Instead I decided to review horror so I could share my thoughts, and have a little fun. Unknown to me, this little blog would soon open up so many doors for me. 
  First I was introduced to all kinds of horror that I didn’t know was out there. Authors were coming to me with their books, filmmakers with their short films, and all kinds of other stuff. Before the blog, I don’t think I ever watched a horror short film on YouTube, or a screener! I found out there are horror conventions and festivals, and had to go. And yes, apparently I lived in a box that hid me from horror!
  Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would get a chance to meet horror icons like Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hansen, Doug Bradley, and many more. For me, getting autographs and pics was cool, but having the experiences with them meant so much more. I’ll never forget giving those guys t-shirts I made for the blog, and watching their reactions. Seeing some of them wear the shirts is still unbelievable! 
  Besides meeting the icons, I’ve meet so many great people in the horror community either through the blog, or its social media. I’ve become friends with people in the city I live in, from other places in the state, and all over the country. Even more amazing is making friends from different places in the world. We are all connected through being a part of the wonderful horror community.
  Probably the biggest door the blog opened was the one that created PromoteHorror.com. Without the blog, I would never have known people needed another place to promote horror. One of my better ideas was born, and 8 years later PromoteHorror.com is still accomplishing its goal of bringing horror creators and fans together everyday. It’s a ton of work, but it’s work I love doing.  
  Just like the blog, it’s allowed me to meet great people, and help support so many fantastic projects. It’s come such a far way, and still has plenty of room to grow. In recent news, the site has gone from sponsoring one film festival to now four this year. Never would I have dreamed to be sponsoring anything, but hopefully we can land a convention sponsorship soon! And now PromoteHorror.com has an official podcast (Where the Scary Things Are), and I got a special guest hosting spot on the show. It's crazy listening to myself talk horror. I couldn’t ask for a better group of horror fans to partner with on this podcast, and big things will be coming soon.
  I could go on and on, but I just want to end this by saying thank you. Thank you for allowing me to come out of the box, and join the horror community. You guys and gals are the best! No matter what kind of involvement you’ve had with the blog, the site, and/or social media I truly appreciate it. Without you, this never would have happened. And a final thank you to Mrs. HorrO for the support, and continuing to be with me on this journey. 

  HorrO 

MANNEQUINS REVIEW



Four friends visit the abandoned Carpenter Hill Hospital but none of them can know the true darkness that waits for them, a force they find themselves inexplicably drawn toward.

Starring: Nicolette McKeown, Alyssa Wininger, and Austin Hayden

Directed and written by: David Malcolm

  Four friends are heading down a road on their way to an abandoned hospital. Obviously this is a bad idea, but they go inside anyway. The guys have one thing on their minds, and that’s some private time with the ladies. That’s a lot easier for Joss (Alyssa Wininger) and Trev (Oliver Timpson) because they are already a couple. Mark (Austin) and Anna (EmmaClaire Brightlyn) investigate another area of the hospital when something apparently takes Anna away. This is only the beginning of the trouble for the remaining three.
  This may seem familiar, but there's something very unique about this film. The four friends aren’t regular actors, they’re mannequins! The mannequins are staged through the scenes with voice overs carrying the conversation. It’s really weird to watch, but keeps enough attention to see where they end up next. Hell, there’s even a staged mannequin sex scene. 
  “Mannequin” is true to it’s title because the characters are mannequins. Credit to the creators for telling a familiar story in a unique way. Also give them credit for not holding back and staging scenes like in the car, and of course the sex scene. They top it off with a nice twist to the story giving a reason for the mannequins. 

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT REVIEW



A bullied boy has a dark secret of what happens when he is hurt by others. The lights go out and the monster appears. 

Starring: Nojus Vainonis, Mija di Marco, and Ainius Marazas 

Written by: Jonas Trukanas, and Edvardas Mikalauskas

Directed by: Jonas Trukanas

  Mantas (Nojus Vainonis) has just switched schools, and like many kids quickly discovers it’s tough being the new kid. Before going to class he’s knocked over by some boys. Mantas does enjoy a little luck, as he sits next to a girl, Inga (Mija di Marco), who is very nice to him. The boys get a little jealous of this, and decide to invite Mantas to help them hang lights in the gym for the school dance. With extra convincing by Inga, the group meets in the gym where nothing good is about to happen.
  Here’s another example of a horror film showing the effects of bullying, and turning around the story on the bullies. Once he gets to the gym, Mantas has little chance but to suffer at the hands of the bullies. Fortunately for him, Mantas has a secret creature that comes out to protect him. It’s an interesting creature that hides in the dark to do its worst, but also to hide the special effects. 
  “When the Lights Go Out” the punishment begins. Mantas may get hurt, but at least he lives to see another day. They do a nice job of showing how the creature picks who to go after, especially with Inga. They also pose a good question of whether the bullies get what they deserve, or does the creature and to a certain point Mantas go too far? Either way it becomes an tragedy that this school won’t forget.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

GO BACK REVIEW



In the fall of 1978, a distraught commuter travels down a haunted country road only to discover that its inhabitants have other plans.

Starring: Nathaniel Barber, Breanne Solis, and Damian Harris

Written by: Nathaniel Barber

Directed by: Matthew and Nathaniel Barber

  Scott (Nathaniel Barber) is driving alone down a dark road by himself. He’s listening to a radio show giving relationship advice. He’s bothered by it, so he decides to reach back for a tape to put in the radio. After putting the tape in, he comes up on a figure in the road, and stops. Of course he goes to check it out, and it’s all down hill from here.
  Again horror fans are taken down a dark and creepy road with a character willing to get out the safety of their car to investigate something strange happening. In this case, Scott finds a weird mannequin wrapped in plastic. Nothing to fear right? He moves it, and continues on only to find another. He remembers what they mentioned on the radio about “going back,” and maybe he should have taken that advice.
  One of the best things “Go Back” does is set the mood. The film is shot nicely in the dark, and captures the feel of being set in 1978. There is never a time when that creepy vibe goes away. Nathaniel does well in his role as Scott, even with only a few lines. The mannequins will have the audience with an uneasy feeling, and scratching their heads until the end. There's no going back now, make sure you catch this short horror film if you come across it!

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Monday, August 12, 2019

YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH REVIEW



A Fox-dressed man breaks the spacetime limits with only one goal: to spend some time with his wife. But below this recreational act there’s a far more complex and ambitious plan.

Starring: Enric Auquer, Karina Kolokolchykova, and Sonia Masuda Mora

Directed and written by: Marc Martinez Jordan

  This story is told from the viewpoint of a man dressed with a fox mask on, and the name tag “Zorro.” So Zorro (Enric Auquer) tells a wild tale of how he got in contact with a secret organization in order to go back in time. He has his doubts but follows their rules, and actually ends up going back in time. He finds his wife, and of course decides to change the rules of this game, but this tale only gets wilder from here!
  Sometimes you have to wonder where people get their ideas for these films. This film seems so absurd starting with the characters wearing fox masks. The absurdity builds with how the story is being told piece by piece by Zorro. The things he decides to point out, the strange things his wife does, and especially the story of how his wife eventually dies. 
  However, once you get past how ludicrous “Your Last Day on Earth” is there is also a crazy brilliance to it all. Everything in this film is not what it seems, and that is shown when the twist is unveiled. Someone else takes over the story revealing another line of events. It leaves a fitting ending, and proves there’s actually an important reason for the masks. So sit back and enjoy a tale only a person in a fox mask could tell!

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

FROST BITE REVIEW



A young girl lures a mysterious figure across the frozen wasteland for reasons unexplained.

Starring: Louisa Darr, Lyra Hernandez, and Sander Huynh-Wiess

Written by: Andrew Hunt, and Troy Antoine LaFaye

Directed by: Andrew Hunt

  With an oxygen mask covering her face, Maxine (Louisa Darr) is on a journey to find a spot on her map. She’s not alone on this trip, as she seems to have a zombie (Lyra Hernandez) tagging along with her. She tries feeding it, and blows a whistle so the zombie doesn’t get lost. It seems like a weird thing to do, but the zombie actually saves her from another zombie. She has a moment where she considers quitting, but she has the proper motivation to power on.
  Obviously there isn’t a lot of conversation here, but there’s something about this film that keeps your attention. There’s a great scary but funny scene with her by the fire trying to feed the zombie. When things seem to settle down, she bumps into another zombie and is almost eaten if not for her zombie. Apparently zombies in this world fight, and it would have been nice to see this battle. It gets to a point where the audience will really see her struggle, but should root for her to continue on.
  While all of those things work for “Frost Bite,” the key behind it is the mystery to why she has this zombie follow her. The audience may or may not feel for her in her struggles, but will definitely need to know what’s the deal with the zombie. I don’t know if it’s a new direction, or just a random occurrence, but recently I’ve run across  several short zombie films that have gone in a different direction. Instead of focusing on the killing and making it bloody, there’s something more personal about it. Trying not to give this ending away, it’s definitely worth the wait to see how it ends.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Sunday, August 11, 2019

ITSY BITSY REVIEW



Based on the centuries old poem, a family moves into a secluded mansion where they soon find themselves being targeted by an entity taking the form of a giant spider.

Starring: Bruce Davison, Elizabeth Roberts, and Denise Crosby

Written by: Jason Alvino, Bryan Dick, and Micah Gallo

Directed by: Micah Gallo

  The ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ in the popular nursery rhyme seems like such a nice and friendly creature. So nice even kids could play with it instead of just singing about it. The not so ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ in “Itsy Bitsy” isn’t one kids or adults should be messing with. Unfortunately for the Spencer family, they find themselves in a sticky situation when they get tangled up with an oversized spider.
  This isn’t a typical Syfy type movie where several dozen spiders are just roaming around killing people left and right. There are several storylines going on starting with the origin of the spider goddess. The story is brought to the present when the spider vase ends up in the hands of Walter (Bruce Davison). He’s a collector of ancient artifacts, but has come about this piece under some shady circumstances.
  Struggling single mother Kara (Elizabeth Roberts), along with her young children Jesse (Arman Darbo) and Cambria (Chloe Perrin) move into a vacant house next to Walter. Kara is a nurse, who has been hired to help out Walter. This leaves Jesse to take care of his little sister, and he’s not too happy about it. He continues to argue with his mother about her responsibilities, while she struggles to cope with a traumatic past event.
  So where does the spider come in? It does a lot of lurking in the dark until it really makes its presence known. Its bite is nasty and definitely deadly. Kara does a lot of facing her own demons, and now she has to face a killer spider to save her kids. All the stories comes together in the struggle for survival for both the family and spider. 
  Credit “Itsy Bitsy” for not taking the route of having an army of spiders just killing everyone they see. The film takes time to give the spider a history, and reason to be in present time. Everything is revealed when need be. The family goes through real struggles before they even cross paths with the spider. The spider’s history came from sacrifice, and that’s something the family learns. With that, I’m going to stay out of the spider web and give it 3 pools of blood.

  HorrO

*There is an after credit scene
*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

THE VIDEO STORE COMMERCIAL REVIEW



A desperate video store owner hires a crew to shoot a commercial in his shop. But when they accidentally destroy a cursed VHS, suddenly, all their lives are in danger.

Starring: Joshua Lenner, Kevin Martin, and Jesse Nash

Directed by: Cody Kennedy and Tim Rutherford

Written by: Tim Rutherford

  A video store owner (Kevin Martin) has enlisted the help of a small film crew to help him make a commercial for his video store. It’s seems to be going fine until the sound guy (Tim Rutherford) starts knocking over stuff. He ends up stepping on, and breaking a VHS tape that the owner describes as one of the cultest cult films of all-time! With no hope of fixing it, the owner discards it just in time for the lights to go out, and a ghost to appear.
  The film opens with the owner giving his best pitch to get people to come to his store in what feels like a bad commercial you used to see after midnight. If that isn’t bad enough, his description of the cult leader behind the broken video is so ridiculous it’s funny. The ghost that haunts them seems to be just as ridiculous looking, but it's hard to tell because the audience barely gets the chance to see it. They don’t show it for long periods of time because only the camera allows them to see it. 
  At first glance, “The Video Store Commercial” seems like a bad short horror film, but it turns out to be one of those comedy horror films that does a nice job of not taking itself too serious. It starts with a bad 80’s commercial, cuts to a silly cult video, and eventually displays a creative, but not so scary ghost. However, just when the audience might want to give up on the film, there’s a hilarious twist that makes it all worth it. So don’t take a commercial break on this film, and stay until the end!

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

CHOWBOYS: AN AMERICAN FOLKTALE REVIEW



Things seem hopeless when three mysterious cowboys find themselves stranded on the coldest night in recorded history.

Starring: Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, and Matthew Kennedy

Directed and written by: Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Kennedy, Steven Kostanski, and Conor Sweeney

  It’s one of the coldest nights in history, and three cowboys have found themselves in the middle of nowhere. Now horseless and hungry, they’ve started a fire, and begin an extremely bizarre conversation. One guy is so hungry he imagines eating a birthday cake. Another cowboy imagines bashing in that guy’s head, while the third cowboy breaks out Christmas presents for the other two. Obviously that’s not happening…or is it?
  The back and forth between what’s real and fake is awesome. The audience never knows what’s coming next. In the middle of their wild imaginations is a much different story of St. Nicholas. Lets just say he’s the naughty one this time! 
  “Chowboys: An American Folktale” is a wild and crazy tale. There’s twists and turns, and nothing seems to be off limits. Hell they even ruin Santa! The actors playing the chowboys easily bring the humor and horror no matter what they’re asked to do. Santa might not be a fan of this movie, but he would be proud with how nicely this film is wrapped up!

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

STARLETS REVIEW



An entertainment attorney travels to an isolated farmhouse for contract negotiations and must outsmart an aging film star… If he wants to survive the night.

Starring: Ryan Gibson, Jill Bailey, and Charlotte Delaney Riggs

Directed and written by: Marten Carlson

  Biggs Thomilson (Ryan Gibson) shows up to a farmhouse late at night. Upon walking on the porch, he’s met with a shotgun in his face. Milly Connors (Jill Bailey), mother of the famous Lentz Triplets and film star, is just making sure no one is there to bother the triplets. Biggs is there to deliver a contract for the girls. Once inside and after some conversation, he ends up staying the night because he’s there for more than a signature on some papers.
   What stands out about this film is it’s very old school, so old school that it’s in black and white. A small location, and weird conversation helps it out, but the score helps move it along nicely. Both Biggs and Milly are clearly hiding something so it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is. Is Biggs the one who’s up to no good, or is there something Milly doesn’t want him to know? 
  “Starlets” is a short film that fans of the Twilight Zone might like. It’s got that same kind of feel to it. There’s a mystery here, but not all too hard to solve. It’s just a matter of how it all ends, and the star of this show shines in the end.

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

LA NORIA REVIEW



A young boy who loves to draw and build ferris wheels encounters strange creatures that turn his life upside down. 

Directed by: Ruben Carlos Baena

  A little boy is alone in his room with his teddy bear trying to finish building a ferris wheel. It appears he has the final piece, but he can’t get it to fit right on the wheel. He tries and tries, but ends up breaking the wheel, and losing the piece. Already pretty upset at with his struggles, a creature appears out of the dark causing the boy to escape his room. He may have escaped that creature, but other creatures of the house take their turns seeking him out.
  When the film begins the audience may have to adjust their eyes. This is an animated short film, but it looks so realistic. For the most part it’s dark with just enough light shining on the boy. Everything is done with such detail, but nothing matches the wicked creatures. It’s just magical when the film finally lights up in the end.
  “La Noria” is such a stunning film to watch that it may be easy to forget a very touching story is also being told. The boy has lost his father, and is experiencing the grief that comes with that. It shows that even young boys are forced to face their demons. In the end, the boy survives his moment of loss to enjoy a moment with great memories. 

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

THE GUESSING GAME REVIEW



A man invites two old college friends to dinner, where a simple game will have unexpected consequences. 

Starring: Josiah Overstreet, Sarah Mills, and Ricco Fajardo

Directed by: Zachary Wink

  Bill (Josiah Overstreet), Karen (Sarah Mills), and Andrew (Ricco Fajardo) are catching up while at a restaurant. The couple tells Bill that they're happy he asked them out because they’re just too busy these days. They don’t even have time for some tv. Bill looks a little stressed, but becomes extremely weird once the check comes. He insists that they play the guessing game and guess how much the check is for. 
  As you might have guessed, nothing good is going to come from playing the guessing game. Of course there’s a winner, who will be just as surprised as the audience with what just happened. There’s a little bit of shock, but also some sick humor in it all. The final moment of the film is a nice touch because it wraps the story up.
“The Guessing Game” might seem like a stupid game, but it turns out to be a very serious one for these three people. Josiah’s great performance helps move this film along, as he plays it smooth to begin with, but also shows there just isn’t something right here. Sarah and Ricco follow his performance to pull this all off. With my turn to play, my best guess is some will like the sick humor, and others won’t!

  HorrO

*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival

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