THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) (2009) dir. Tom Six

Director: Tom Six
Producers: Tom Six, Ilona Six
Writer: Tom Six
Starring: Dieter Laser, Akihiro Kitamura, Ashlynn Yennie, Ashley C. Williams

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THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) (2009)

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAKES MENTION OF THE HOLOCAUST (AND NAZI IDEOLOGY), BODY HORROR, AND TORTURE. IMAGES INCLUDE BLOOD. (As always, see this post’s tags for trigger warnings for the film itself.)

What is it about the American tourist that has inspired the grisliest in gore? From the ignominious boy-men of HOSTEL (2005) to the (at least mildly) well-meaning student activists of THE GREEN INFERNO (2013), doe-eyed Americans have a tendency to run into grave misfortune abroad (or Eli Roth has a bit of a complex). Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past seven years, I’m sure you’ve heard of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (the original installment is subtitled FIRST SEQUENCE; subsequent installments include FULL SEQUENCE [2011] and FINAL SEQUENCE [2015]) (2009). While the HOSTEL franchise remains my favorite incarnation of the travel nightmare, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE wins most horrible in my book.

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THE CONJURING (2013) dir. James Wan

Director: James Wan
Producers: Rob Cowan, Tony DeRosa-Grund
Writers: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor

“We’ve been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.”

“But we prefer to be known simply as Ed and Lorraine Warren.”

With THE CONJURING 2 finishing up its second week in theaters—block-busting with the best of them, grossing $117.5 million internationally—it seems only right to revisit the original classic. When my friends and I saw THE CONJURING (2013) in theaters during college, most of us had only the vaguest idea of what it was. We had seen the trailer, which gave away little aside from the telltale eeriness of “hide and clap” and decided to give it a chance. Rarely do I remember us being so petrified in theaters—by that point, we were all three desensitized enough to the “jump-scares” and costume makeup that characterized the 2000s PG-13 horror we had all grown up on that most scary movies only faintly disturbed us. Not this one—I remember sweating, shrieking and, at points, even clutching poor Jess and Zoë in fear. Two nights ago I re-screened THE CONJURING with my friend John, a grown man with thick skin. Even he admitted as the credits rolled that he had chills for the majority of the film.

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IT FOLLOWS (2015) dir. David Robert Mitchell

Director: David Robert Mitchell
Producers: David Robert Mitchell, Rebecca Green, David Kaplan, Erik Rommesmo, Laura D. Smith
Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Stars: Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Keir Gilcrist

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IT FOLLOWS (2015)

IT FOLLOWS (2015) is a difficult film to analyze and interpret, difficult even to name. One walks away with more questions than answers (to what I suspect is director David Robert Mitchell’s delight). Where does the film fall generically? How should we interpret the film’s “message” (for we can assume that such a meticulously crafted work is meant to convey something universal to its audience)? Most pressingly: what is “it”?

IT FOLLOWS begins (after a vivid introduction) with Jay (Maika Monroe) submerged, an image that calls to mind birth just as swiftly as it calls to mind death. She is in the swimming pool in her backyard, in a Detroit suburb, enjoying primordial solitude before—you guessed it—a date. The date is with a boy she’s seen at least a couple of times—we learn that she likes him and, what’s more, her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe) even approves—but tonight’s date is strange. Though personable and seemingly interested in Jay, Hugh’s (Jake Weary) abrupt manner and apparent paranoia unsettle her. Nonetheless, Jay interprets his discomfort as disinterest in her, and perhaps because of this, has sex with him in his car on their next “date.” (Whatever. Not every date can be candles and roses, okay?) It should come as no surprise to the seasoned horror fan that this is when the nightmare truly begins.

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10 (More) Haunting Documentaries That Are Stranger Than Fiction | Mental Floss

TRIGGER WARNING: This article includes synopses for each documentary. The synopses for CHILD OF RAGE, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, and IN A TOWN THIS SMALL mention childhood sexual assault. The synopsis for THE COVE mentions animal abuse. The synopsis for SUICIDE FOREST (clearly) mentions suicide. The synopses for INTERVIEW WITH A CANNIBAL, THE CHESHIRE MURDERS, and IN A TOWN THIS SMALL mention rape.

I don’t know about you, but I’m chomping at the bit to check out these creepy pics, all perfectly suited to add to the site’s “Horror Documentary” category. If you liked CROPSEY, chances are these are right up your alley. I’ve seen CHILD OF RAGE, too … but was unsure whether it qualified as horror, per se. Disturbing, it was. What makes a true-life tale “horror” for you? What’s your favorite “horror” documentary?

via 10 (More) Haunting Documentaries That Are Stranger Than Fiction | Mental Floss

WILDERNESS LINK ROUND-UP: May 30

I hope you enjoy this week’s—and the blog’s first!—link round-up, where I bring you the best of horror that the internet can give you! Grab some popcorn, stretch out in your favorite chair, and get comfortable with your laptop, tablet, or phone … and enjoy your Friday night with some news from the dark side.

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via pixabay.com

NEW SERIES ALERT: If you hit YouTube before 10 PM tonight, you can catch OUTCAST, the new Cinemax Original Series about a young man (GONE GIRL’s Patrick Fugit) mysteriously possessed by strange forces and his journey to coming to terms with what lies in his past.

MORE MOVIES TO RUIN YOUR LIFE: What’s the most grisly horror film you’ve ever laid eyes on? Chances are, it’s on this list: check out these 10 Banned Horror Movies from The Line-Up, including the notoriously harrowing I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and the fresh hell that is THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (plus the sequel). [TRIGGER WARNING: This article makes mention of rape and sexual assault.]

TRUE HORROR: How many possession victims can you name? Even if your answer is “Not many,” you’ll recognize these names, from The Line-Up … Anneliese Michel is the inspiration for THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the Smurl family’s resident demon, and the Perrons star in James Wan’s THE CONJURING.

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Anneliese Michel (via wordpress.com)

NEW SERIES ALERT: Lore, Aaron Mahnke’s podcast on the mysterious and macabre, will soon be coming to television. Gale Anne Hurd—executive producer of THE WALKING DEAD—will host the anthology series. A network is not yet attached to the project.

THIRD-GENERATION GHOSTBUSTERS: We’ve all been through the wringer, what with the whiny voices of dissent that have arisen with increasing volume and frequency in the wake of the GHOSTBUSTERS film about to hit theaters … but check out this little-known fact from Blumhouse.com: the 1984 comedy is a remake in itself, of a ‘70s television show for children! Wait ‘til THIS hits the message boards …

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The original “Ghost Busters” (yes, including the ape, apparently) (via Blumhouse.com)

TRAVEL: If you’re at a loss for summer vacation destinations, look no further … how about a portal to hell?! And no, I’m not talking about Sunnydale. Check out these Five Entrances to Hell from Blumhouse.com.

THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS?: In a story that unpleasantly calls to mind my recent review of DEAD SILENCE, a chilling creepypasta from an author known only as CMT reports that three teenage girls were found dead at … wait for it … a DOLL CEMETERY. [TRIGGER WARNING: This article describes mutilated corpses in great detail.]

CHARLIE NO-FACE: They say every town has a story. Does yours compare to these horrifying urban legends from The Line-Up? [TRIGGER WARNING: Number 8 on this list, “Purple Aki,” includes a graphic reference to rape. Number 13, “A fertility god …” makes mention of rape. Number 24, “The plantation owner’s ghost,” makes mention of a racial hate crime.]

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Charlie No-Face? (via The Line-Up)