Tag Archives: Horror

Hell Hound (1977) Review

Written by: Aaron B.

I first heard of this book while watching reviews of obscure horror movies (thanks to spookyastronauts), someone made a review of a movie called “Baxter”. About a dog who basically has no remorse or guilt for the bad things he does. I knew I had to read this, animal books and horror books are two of my favorite genres.

The opening of the book details Baxter’s disdain for his owner, an old lady who he eventually pushes down the stairs. He enjoys watching her die, so kicks off the story. The chapters are partly written in an omnipresent fashion, while the other chapters (and my personal favorite ones) were written from the POV of Baxter himself. I sort of wish the entire book had been written in this way, but I also understand that character development happened in the other chapters.

They’re a few startling events in the book, but don’t go into this thinking it’s a bloodbath. This isn’t a slasher, it’s a dark and psychological story about what it means to be a sociopath and have violent tendencies. The story is about the build up to violent acts and the anticipation rather then the actual ‘kill.’ The book is intense because of the lack of emotion not only from the dog, but from one of his owners, a boy who’s obsessed with Hitler and Nazis.

To me, that boy was the most interesting character aside from the dog, every time he was in a scene I was tense, he had quite violent thoughts and very morbid motivations, his parents were at a loss of what to do with him almost the entire time.

There are some sections towards the end which get into animal abuse, which is something I expected from a story like this, but just be warned. I personally can handle it in a story, but it was tough to get threw one section in particular involving puppies.

Overall though, this is now one of my favorite ‘horror’ books, this is one I’ll recommend to other horror fans for sure. This is a rare time where I’d say I could’ve written this story, but I’m glad a very talented author did so already. We need more horror / animal books out there, and this is a great addition to that genre.

FROM THE SKY (Short Film)

Inspired by the work of Dean Alioto and his 80’s horror movie “U.F.O. Abduction”, after his cousin is abducted, Mike goes out to look for her and discovers a horrifying and unearthly payoff to his endeavors, filmed part ‘vlog-style’ and part cinematically to fully capture the terror and isolation of being subjected to an alien encounter.

BLOG PORTION: This movie really came about after I really wanted to tackle aliens again. Of course I made the “Alien” fan film a while ago, but I wanted to do something ‘classic.’ I had seen a movie entitled “UFO Abduction” directed by Dean Alioto. Basically the movie tells the story of a girl having a birthday party, then it is interrupted by aliens. The movie came out BEFORE “The Blair Witch Project”, marking it maybe the first real ‘found footage’ horror movie.

Well, I was impressed by this movie (I had been tracking it for years and I finally saw it on you tube a few months back.) So, when I re-watched it I took notes as to what I wanted to use. The red light for example was Dean’s idea which I ran with, but I also wanted to add my own flare.

So, instead of the entire movie being found footage, I decided to do half and half. Much like “District 9” which showed part news footage and part traditional movie, switching between ‘vlog’ and ‘film’ was a challenge due to editing (converting files and such was a pain) but I’m glad with how that part came out.

The first part of the movie was filmed in February, when my two aunts and my second cousin, Maddie (who you’ve seen in more of my movies) were visiting. They didn’t know they’d be in a movie, so when I took the opportunity to film them, that was there first real reaction. It was very natural and flowed well. Those scenes were the easiest.

My next challenge was to find an awesome alien mask, so I bought one online for 40 dollars, and it was worth it. Took me a while to settle on a final design. The only other big thing to deal with was the set. I wanted to show what happened to my character after the abduction, my friend Cab (who is new to Equus21 Productions) helped me immensely by not only being a camera person, but she helped with continuity and wrapped my brother’s jogger all in tinfoil, which took a while but it came out great.

Over all, this movie was a blast to make-it was cool to go back to something I’ve always loved, aliens and UFOs.


FERAL

Part “True Detective”, Part “A Dog’s Way Home” this is the story of a Labrador searching for his master…

Kicking off the new year I feel is a very ‘Aaron-type’ movie, besides the fact I made it, it’s a plot device I wish was used more in movies. 🙂 I wanted this to be more than a ‘dog movie.’ I wanted people who also enjoyed dark plots and horror to enjoy it too.

Halloween (2018 Review)

Michael-Myers-in-Halloween-2018-poster

Written by: Aaron B.

*SPOILERS*

I usually am not a fan of slashers, I’ve seen the classics (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and while I can find slight enjoyment out of some of the elements of these movies, I typically find them boring. And worst of all, not scary. That can’t be said for this impressive sequel. I am calling this a sequel, since it is a continuation of the original movie. My liking for Michael had dwindled since I feel Rob Zombie ruined what made Myers scary. Those movies to me were plan annoying and I don’t think Rob has any sense of how to craft suspense and fear, I think he’s a talentless filmmaker overall. His Halloween movies were full of unnecessary nudity and profanity (not that I hate the word fuck, but when it’s said over and over-to me it shows a lack of writing ability) So, I went into this with medium expectations, I admitted that the trailer looked neat and I had never seen Michael Myers on a big screen, and it was October, so why not?

Well, I was impressed. While I wasn’t scared of this movie like I was with something like “Hereditary”, I must give credit. This was an entertaining and creepy good time. Seeing Laurie Strode as a kick-ass character was what I needed. I re-watched the original, and while I do like it quite a bit-Laurie wasn’t very well written and made a lot of mistakes (dropping the knife a ton of times for instance when Michael was right by her.) I love ‘The Shape’ himself in the original, but I feel that Halloween needed a new vision. Instead of rambling, I’ll to a section for positives and negatives.

Positives: I loved how the deaths were handled. Very little was shown apart from maybe in the last half. Leaving things up to the imagination is so much more effective than showing every hit and blood splatter. The scene in the bathroom with the reporter reminded me so much of something I’d see in a 70’s slasher, intense but again, not so gory that it was silly.

I really liked seeing Jamie Lee Curtis. She made a great return to the slasher genre and totally made Laurie awesome. She had some good dialogue as well. The long tracking shots of Michael stalking the streets was amazing-a total show stealer for me, I only wish the takes were even longer and used more often. I loved the scene in the closet with the babysitter, but my favorite section was with the backyard lights and the teen sitting out on the lawn. THAT to me was pure Michael Myers and gave me the chills. The movements of Myers were perfect. The scene where Myers pushes her off the roof, he looks down to see her gone was brilliant. My second favorite scene in the movie by far.

Negatives: I didn’t care about anyone else except for Laurie and her family. The reporters were a bit annoying. The scene with the doctor going crazy was interesting but executed poorly. I would have liked a lot more exposition. Maybe more time with him in the mental institution. Instead of the first 20 min being about the reporter, delve into the doctor a bit? Then, I could have accepted that he was nuts. Again, good idea-just done poorly.

Overall: This to me is the definitive sequel. I only wish they hadn’t made anymore until this point, so we’d have two very good Halloween movies. Instead, we have a confusing timeline and a string of mediocre movies. In my collection, it’ll be this with the original 70’s classic. I really am looking forward to watching it again on TV.

AFTERWORLD (Short Film)

 

Plot: After moving into his new home, Bryce gets more then he bargained for when he realizes his house belongs to demons, what follows is a series of disturbing, satanic events he may not live through… Inspired by such films as “Hereditary” and “The Conjuring“.

 


Contains Spoilers. After I saw “Hereditary”, I wanted to finally make a paranormal horror movie. That movie is in my eyes, a disturbing masterpiece. I had the plot for this movie in my head for a while (you’ll find out the whole picutre-watch until the end! 😉 ) After seeing “The Conjuring” a few times and getting inspiration from the cinematagraphy and style of “Hereditary”, I felt confident that I could bring my story to life. The one thing I didn’t want to do was make this my usual ‘fast paced’ short film, unlike my Leonard series or even “To the Slaughter” (a movie I’m proud of, but a silly movie.)

I wanted this to be a slower paced, atmospheric movie. Little to no jump scares, they’re moments of quiet and dread (the opening scene really illistrates the type of movie I wanted to make. The camera lingers for a reason.) This movie is evil. I know that sounds silly, but after editing and watching it-yeah, this IS an evil movie. What does that mean?

Unlike a lot of my shorts, even the more ‘grusome’ ones, they’re moments of levity. Moments where you can sit back. This movie? I wanted you to feel a sense of eeriness and terror the entire time.  Not only that, one of the characters openly worships Satan, I typically don’t bring religion into my work, but to add to the uncomfortableness, I wanted too push buttons, plus it does serve the plot. From the moment the movie opens, I want you to feel anxiety, and I hope it lasts up until the credits. I feel this movie is special, because of the lack of lightheartedness and I got to relesese some images that freighten even me. However, working with my mom and dad for my birthday, was a real treat!

THE NORTH CAROLINA INCIDENT (Short Film)

 

 

Plot: Trekking across North Carolina to hunt a creature becomes more terrifying than one could imagine…


I had this idea in my head of ‘what if a found footage movie didn’t end with some scary monster, but rather a creepy serial killer in the woods?’ After reading fan theories on “The Blair Witch Project” (such as this one). I was also inspired by a very eerie movie entitled “The Last Broadcast”, so these two movies I would bounce back and forth on as I was thinking of all the ideas.

Originally, I was going to insert interview footage with the family and splice it in to the found footage, but after thinking about it and trying it out, I feel like it bogged down the movie and slowed the plot down. So, going for a more simple route, I decided to go full 100% found footage.

I knew that my cousin and my dad and myself were going on a road trip to North Carolina and we’d see some awesome sights, so that’s when the idea came up again. Apart from the loooong hours of driving (spending nearly 24 hours in a car wasn’t easy on the trip home!)

Nick and I were able to film without any issues. Everyone seemed fine with me lugging a camera around and maybe looking goofy as we were both acting scared or crazy. The locations were nothing short of amazing, and I have a lot more footage than this movie shows. The waterfall was a highlight as I had never gotten footage of something so grand. I also think cousin Nick was the show stealer, and I’m 100% okay with that. I feel like it was as much his film as it was mine, it’s always nice to have someone else star in a movie so I could focus on more the look and feel, apart from the last half of the movie where the ‘twist’ comes in.

The ending footage (from the bridge with the water) was all filmed in my hometown of Massachusetts, which edited together seamlessly. Dad and I had a great time filming his serial killer sections, and yelling into the night sky really added to the fear and dread my character must have felt, it all felt real (hence why we kept our names, Nick and Aaron the same.) So it felt natural.

I’m quite proud of this movie, and I am especially proud of the ending which I think is one of my most chilling scenes ever-and that’s saying something.