See the most bone-chilling films you'll see all year at the 2015 IHSFF Fall Horror Showcase!

There's a chill in the air thanks to The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival! We are proud to announce our Fall Horror Showcase. Audiences will have an opportunity to preview some of the most anticipated horror films of the year before they're released! For 3 nights in October, the Harkins Scottsdale 101 will be the place to be for a frighteningly good time with fellow horror film enthusiasts.

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Final Girls

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat with Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev.

When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend an anniversary screening of "Camp Bloodbath," the infamous '80s horror film that starred Max's late mother (Malin Akerman), they are mysteriously sucked into the silver screen. They soon realize they are trapped inside the cult classic movie and must team up with the fictional and ill-fated camp counselors, including Max's mom as the scream queen, to battle the film's machete-wielding killer. With the body count rising in scene after iconic scene, who will be the final girls left standing and live to escape this film?

A hosted discussion with Brent Hankins, Kyle Wilson and Matt Surley of NerdRepository will follow the film.NRlogob






Starring: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Jordan Gray |

"I leave the BITE premiere for all of 10 minutes and the following text lights up my phone: '2 people fainted. One girl is puking and another hit his head on the stairs'." -Mitch Davis, Festival Director of the Fantasia International Film Festival

While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she's able to, she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.

A discussion will follow the film hosted by Matthew G. Robinson of Dark of the Matinee.






Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons, Richard Jenkins, David Arquette and Sid Haig

Far beyond the settled frontier of the old west, two brigands (David Arquette & Sid Haig) cut throats, steal, and defile an ancient, sacred land.  The one named Purvis flees when things get ugly and heads for the nearest town, Bright Hope. Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell) and an oldster known as Chicory (Richard Jenkins) are the law for this small settlement, a place where a cowboy foreman, Arthur O'Dwyer (Patrick Wilson) lives with his doctor wife, Samantha (Lili Simmons), alongside saloon habitués such as the cultured, but private gunslinger, John Brooder (Matthew Fox). Purvis reaches Bright Hope alive, but is followed there by the ancient menace that he and his partner awakened.  A night of violence ensues.  People are slaughtered, and Mrs. O'Dwyer is abducted. This event forces Sheriff Hunt, Arthur O'Dwyer, Chicory, and John Brooder to band together and ride beyond the edge of civilization, where they will face a godless enemy who views them as meat.

A hosted discussion with Jeff Mitchell will follow the film.



3 Chilling Films.

3 Chilling Nights.

Following the screenings there will be a hosted discussion about the film.

Tickets are $10 each and a pass for all 3 films is just $20. Don't wait to buy tickets. Seating is limited to only 250 seats per screening.

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'The Walking Dead' Season 2, Part 2 Preview!

Just a little more than two weeks to go until The Walking Dead returns with all-new episodes on AMC. The network has just released yet another trailer for the second half of the season, as well as the titles and descriptions of the remaining episodes. Check 'em out after the jump. The following episode titles and descriptions for The Walking Dead come to us from SpoilerTV via ShockTillYouDrop...

Episode 2.09 - Triggerfinger 

Rick, Hershel and Glen are trapped and fight to survive; Shane finds Lori in danger.

Episode 2.10 - 18 Miles Out 

Rick and Shane are in conflict over the fate of an outsider; Andrea helps Hershel's daughter face a crucial decision.

Episode 2.11 - Judge, Jury, Executioner 

Rick sides with Shane causing Dale to worry that the group is losing its humanity; Carl's actions have unintended consequences.

Episode 2.12 - Better Angels 

Someone dangerous may be loose near the farm; Rick, Shane, Daryl and Glenn keep the group safe.

Episode 2.13 - Beside the Dying Fire 

Rick and Carl find the farm in jeopardy; the group is split up in the chaos; Rick's leadership is questioned.

10 potentially great sci-fi movies coming in 2012

As you’ve probably gathered, 2012 is an absolutely gigantic year for geek movies. From The Muppets arriving in the UK at the beginning of the year, via The Dark Knight Rises in the summer, to the first Hobbit movie near its end, 2012 is so packed full of potentially great films, we’re not quite sure how we’ll find the time to watch them all. Next year’s also a promising one for sci-fi fanatics. And as this list aims to prove, there are some genuinely intriguing genre films coming out in 2012, from low-budget oddities to expensive epics. In compiling a run-down of the ten SF movies we’re most looking forward to, then, we’ve tried to weight it in favour of the less well-known pictures that we think deserve a little more exposure.

So bear in mind that, although we’re looking forward to, say, Battleship, The Hunger Games or Men In Black 3, we’ve decided to highlight some less obvious indie fare instead - and as this year’s Another Earth once again proved, it’s from this side of the moviemaking fence that the best ideas and performances often hail.

Chronicle Released: 1 February

“What are you capable of?” asked the trailer for this mash-up of found-footage movie and sci-fi superhero thriller. It's about a group of teenagers who possess telekinetic powers that gradually increase in destructive strength. Hollywood may be busily converting the classic Akira for western audiences, but it looks as though director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis may have beaten them to it; as the youths use their new-found abilities to pull off various pranks, one of their group begins to display a murderous appetite for destruction, a bit like Tetsuo in Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal anime.

The trailer that arrived last month placed Chronicle high up on our must-watch list, and while we’re growing a little weary of the found footage genre, the grungy, quasi-realism of Trank’s movie could make for a great alternative to next year’s glossier comicbook movies. There are some fantastic images and special effects in here, too, including a fantastic bit where half a dozen police cars are swept away by a gigantic telekinetic wave, and an amusing moment where a child is menaced by a floating teddy bear.

After that trailer, Chronicle went from being a film we’d barely heard of to one we’re eagerly anticipating.

John Carter Released: 9 March

We’ve already written lots and lots about John Carter in previous posts, but that’s because we’ve every faith that director Andrew Stanton can pull this one off. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original John Carter books inspired an entire generation of writers and filmmakers, and movies such as Star Wars and Avatar can all be traced back to his much-loved pulp adventures.

Stanton has a rich well-spring of inspiration to draw on, then, in this tall tale about Carter, an American Civil War veteran who ends up fighting exotic creatures and falling love with a princess on Mars. The special effects look stunning, and the director’s experience in computer animation really shows here, with Willem Defoe unrecognisable under a layer of pixels as Carter’s 12-foot-tall alien ally, Tars Tarkas.

A rip-roaring pulp yarn, John Carter doesn’t boast the fascinating concepts of some of the other sci-fi movies on this list, but its spectacle alone makes this one of our most anticipated movies of 2012.

Lockout Released: 13 April

Luc Besson co-wrote and produced this action thriller, which looks rather like Escape From New York relocated to an orbiting space station. Guy Pearce is the laconic, cigarette-smoking hero, who gets a shot at freedom when he’s tasked with rescuing the president’s daughter, played by Maggie Grace.

Everything points to a fun, breezy and pleasingly retro adventure – the international trailer released last week even features lots of blazing laser cannons (it feels like ages since we’ve seen one of those in a genre film), and Pearce looks to be on form as a wise-cracking, unreconstructed hero.

It’s also thought that Lockout will get an R rating in the US, so it’s likely to be one of the more violent, sweary movies on this list. Prometheus Released: 1 June

Ridley Scott makes what we hope will be a triumphant return to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus. Scott and his fellow filmmakers may have been reluctant to describe this as a prequel to Alien, but whatever its relationship to that 1979 classic proves to be, we’re clamouring to see it. Filling in the history of the Space Jockeys, the creators of the strange, horseshoe-shaped ship carrying the xenomorph eggs in Alien, Prometheus stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron as a group of explorers who encounter something nightmarish on the edge of space.

One of the most secretive film productions we’ve seen in years, the few bits of information Fox has divulged have been quite encouraging. Scott’s built some huge and spectacular-looking sets for Prometheus, which gives us hope that the film doesn’t suffer from the same depressing over-use of green screens and digital sets that made the Star Wars prequels look so cold and unengaging.

If we could pick fault with anything, though, the promo pictures released a couple of weeks ago showed Rapace and her fellow actors looking extremely polished and air-brushed, though, with Fassbender displaying the sort of slick, well-oiled side-parting you’d expect to see on a 30s matinee idol - we were rather hoping that Prometheus would have the same battered, lived-in look as Alien. Maybe the characters’ extra-terrestrial encounters will leave them looking rather less pristine.

Total Recall Released: 22 August

Like last year’s The Thing prequel, Total Recall’s one of those movies that some might argue shouldn’t be made. Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 original is a fondly-remembered action staple, even if it is rather less mordantly satirical than his other sci-fi masterpieces, RoboCop and Starship Troopers.

It’s evident, though, that director Len Wiseman’s trying to do something different with his version of Total Recall. For one thing, Doug Quaid (played by Colin Farrell) won’t be getting his ass to Mars this time, with his identity crisis adventures taking place in future city on Earth. What we appear to be looking at, then, is a sort of futuristic Bourne Identity, with Farrell running around trying to discover the facts behind his erased past.

Various images, both official and otherwise, have shown off some rather cool-looking floating cars and stylish sets, and from a visual standpoint, Total Recall 2012 looks more like Minority Report than Verhoeven’s bloodthirsty blockbuster. If you’re still not convinced, there’s still the presence of the great Bryan Cranston to consider; he’s stepping into Ronny Cox’s old shoes as sneering corporate bad guy, Vilos Cohaagen. Even if this Total Recall can’t match the brilliance of the 90s Schwarzenegger vehicle, at least we know it’ll have a highly watchable villain.

Looper Released: 28 September

There are many reasons to look forward to this time-travel sci-fi thriller. First, it’s written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom). Second, its cast is excellent, and includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, who play the same character at two different points in time.

And then there’s the premise itself, which sounds complicated yet fascinating - so complicated, in fact, that we’ll let the filmmakers’ synopsis do the explaining: "The story takes place in a world where a crime syndicate can send their enemies back in time and a group of killers known as 'loopers' eliminate those enemies, so there's no evidence of the murder in the crime syndicate's present time."

Johnson apparently worked with Shane Carruth on the script, which might explain why it sounds so intricate - Carruth was responsible for the brain-melting yet fantastic Primer, after all. Looper sounds like a twist on such films as Twelve Monkeys (or going further back, the film that inspired Gilliam, 1962’s La Jetée), and if it’s anywhere near as good as those, then we’ll be very happy indeed.

Gravity Released: 19 October

Sci-fi cinema seems to be producing fewer and fewer space-based movies these days - maybe it’s the retirement of the NASA space shuttle that’s to blame. At any rate, the space station setting of Gravity is one of the reasons we’re so excited about it - the presence of Alfonso Cuarón at the helm is another. After the stunning Children Of Men, we’re anxious to see what he does next, and by all accounts (not least the director’s chum, Guillermo del Toro), Gravity is just as grand and ambitious as that dystopian classic.

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star as a pair of astronauts who find themselves trapped on a crippled space station after it’s struck by debris. With Cuarón’s talent for constructing mind-blowing set-pieces and unforgettable images, this slight race-against-time thriller template could provide the springboard for one of the best-looking movies of 2012.

Cloud Atlas Released: 26 October

It’s been a while since the Wachowski brothers had a box-office hit, but maybe this unusual sci-fi epic will change their fortunes. Based on David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, it’s a sprawling tale with six interweaving story lines set across different ages in history. The cast is quite remarkable: Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent are among the stars, who play multiple characters in each plot strand. Halle Berry, for example, plays a 70s journalist, a Jewish woman living in the 1930s, and a member of an advanced race from the 6th century.

The reaction to a six minute preview of Cloud Atlas screened in LA earlier this year was highly positive, and its distributor has described it as “phantasmagorical” and “unlike anything I’ve seen in 40 years in this business”. We do wonder about its chances at the box-office, though, particularly when one considers the unfortunate history behind Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, a similarly sprawling sci-fi parable that, after a troubled production, eventually made a disappointing $16 million return on its $35 million budget.

It’s also been said that some actors will not only play multiple characters in Cloud Atlas, but also characters of different races and genders - we’re not sure how well that will come across in the finished film. Tom Hanks dressed as a woman? Susan Sarandon with a beard? It could be the weirdest sci-fi flick since Zardoz.

With a budget of $100 million drawn together from international investors (Hollywood financiers thought the project too risky), Cloud Atlas sounds big, bold and ambitious. It could be a triumph or a catastrophe. However it turns out, Cloud Atlas certainly sounds intriguing.

Iron Sky Released: TBA

Nazis in space, flying saucers, and Udo Kier. Iron Sky sounds like great fun, and its makers should be applauded for embarking on such a grand idea on an indie budget. Made for just £6.5 million, Iron Sky bring us lunar bases on the dark side of the moon and huge invading space armadas.

Iron Sky also represents a growing trend in independent filmmaking: crowdfunding. As well as traditional investors, the money for the film’s been raised via merchandise sales and pre-orders. It’s one example of a project that’s used social media to drum up interest and support - its trailer’s been a huge hit on YouTube, and Iron Sky’s due out in Japan, France and much of Europe in 2012, with UK and US release date still to be confirmed. Its Finnish premiere, meanwhile, is on the 4th of April.

The more support Iron Sky gets, the more quickly we’ll get to see it - there’s every reason, then, to visit the film’s website and find out how you can get involved.

The Cosmonaut Released: TBA

Like Iron Sky, The Cosmonaut is an indie sci-fi funded by donations and advertising as well as traditional investments. Made for an absolutely tiny £735,000 (or thereabouts), the film is from Spanish director Nicolás Alcalá, and covers the apparent disappearance of a Soviet cosmonaut during a trip to the moon.

Shortly after the explorer’s empty ship is found seven months later, a childhood friend begins to receive strange radio signals, apparently from the cosmonaut, saying that he’s returned to Earth, and found it to be completely deserted. It’s a great-sounding idea, and sounds very much Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, a film Alcalá cites as an influence.

Unlike the other films on this list, The Cosmonaut won’t be released theatrically, but made available on the Internet. But while it’s the smallest movie in this run-down, it’s nevertheless among our most anticipated, based on its premise alone. We just hope both The Cosmonaut and Iron Sky get the attention they deserve, and will that they’ll inspire other filmmakers to bring their own unique science fiction ideas to the screen.

Elijah Wood in Remake of 'Maniace'

It feels like Maniac has been rolling around the Hollywood remake mill for years now, but it finally has its maniac: Elijah Wood. Best known as the furry-footed Frodo in the Lord of the Rings movies, Maniac casts Wood as a serial killer with mommy issues, in a role originally held by Joe Spinell. Joining him in the cast will be Nora Arnezeder (Safe House) as Anna, the role originally played by Caroline Munro. Check out more after the jump.

Directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2), Maniac is a remake of William Lustig's exploitation classic from 1980. The film was reviled by critics like Gene Siskel, and made it onto Britain's "Video Nasties" list. Now it is being remade with a popular actor best known for family-friendly roles. Go figure.

Maniac is scheduled to start filming by the end of the year. Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) is producing.

Behind the Scenes of 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

Expectations aren't exactly huge right now for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, given the lukewarm reception for the first film starring Marvel's motorcyclist from Hell, and the last, relatively lackluster, trailer for the sequel. (Oh if only the whole movie could be about Nicolas Cage pissing fire...) But a new production video from directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor suggest that at least the eventual DVD documentary on the making of Ghost Rider 2 will be entertaining. Check it out after the jump.

The above video is exclusive to FirstLookOnline. Here's the official Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance synopsis...

"Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Columbia Pictures' and Hyde Park Entertainment's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. In the successor to the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Johnny - still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy - and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Screenplay by Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman and David S. Goyer. Story by David S. Goyer. Based on the Marvel Comic. Produced by Steven Paul, Ashok Amritraj, Michael De Luca, Avi Arad, and Ari Arad."

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Ghostly Adaptations: 8 Ghost Movies Adapted from Books

by Scott Neumyer, Tue., Jan. 24, 2012 11:00 AM PST

ghostly adaptations

Someone must have designated February 3, 2012 as Ghosts in the Theater Day as it marks the theatrical release of Ti West's spooky The Innkeepers as well as the Hammer Film Productions release of the Daniel Radcliffe-starring The Woman in Black. It's the latter film, however, that got us thinking about some of the very best ghost movies adapted from books. Based on the Susan Hill novel of the same name, The Woman in Black has been adapted before, but this latest version might just prove to be the best version yet. If you're gearing up to find out on February 3, why not get yourself in the right mood by checking out a few of the ghostly adaptations on our list below. This isn't a complete list, by any means, but it's a great starting point for anyone interested in the ghost movie subgenre. Happy Hauntings!

The Haunting

Robert Wise's 1963 classic The Haunting is, arguably, the very best ghost movie ever adapted from a novel. Based on Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, the film stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Russ Tamblyn and is a study in the subtle, slow-burn of a psychological horror film. Remade in 1999 by Jan de Bont and starring Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the stories are essentially the same, but don't let that fool you into thinking the remake is even remotely as solid as Wise's original. Where de Bont's version utilized shoddy CGI effects, a sub-par screenplay, and overused horror clichés, the 1963 version of The Haunting is thrilling and scary based on the fact that you actually care about its characters and the house's chills are understated and creepy. It's a sinister little flick that's become the Granddaddy of ghostly adaptations.

ghostly adaptations

Burnt Offerings

Based on the novel of the same name by Robert Marasco, 1976's Burnt Offerings is an oft-underrated little creepfest about a haunted house that gets rejuvenated with every injury or death that takes place inside of it. It was the first of many classic films to be filmed in the famed Dunsmuir House (others include Phantasm and A View to a Kill), and really takes advantage of the location by making the house itself the real star of the film. Directed by Dan Curtis (Dark Shadows and Trilogy of Terror), Burnt Offerings boasts an all-star cast that includes Burgess Meredith, Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Lee Montgomery, and Bette Davis. It's another slow burn of a horror film, but one that's well worth the wait.

ghostly adaptations

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror was a huge box office success back in 1979, but critics panned the film and have long since questioned the legitimacy of the "true" story that the novel of the same name by Jay Anson and the film are both based on. Whether the story of the Lutz family is true or not, however, barely matters. The film gets a bad rap for being hokey and over the top. While there are certainly moments of bombast throughout – mostly from James Brolin and Margot Kidder's performances – the film actually works pretty well overall. It's creepy, suspenseful, and has a sense of paranormal anxiety that actually does a great job of chilling the bones. It's the kind of film that has just enough things wrong with it that a remake could really do it some justice. Unfortunately, the 2005 remake directed by Andrew Douglas and starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George fails to improve upon any of the original's missteps. While it's a serviceable film, the 2005 version deals in overcomplicated backstory and hinges on too many ghost clichés. The film's, nonetheless, have made tons of money, spawned a bunch of sequels, and remain some of the most financially successful ghostly adaptations of all time.

ghostly adaptations

Ghost Story

Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Straub, 1981's Ghost Story is the last film to feature Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and the legendary Fred Astaire. The film takes place in a small New England town and tells a pretty familiar, simple tale about four old men who form a club to tell each other spooky ghost stories. You've seen this film before, but Ghost Story tells it with such style and atmosphere that you're nearly choking on the thick fog of a dark, scary night. The cast is spectacular and Irvin's direction is solid in what has become a staple of the ghost movie subgenre.

ghostly adaptations

The Shining

What can I possibly say about Stanley Kubrick's 1980 masterpiece of horror and isolation? Not much, honestly. If you're reading, the chances that you haven't seen The Shining are slim and none. Adapted by Kubrick and Diane Johnson and based on the novel by Stephen King, The Shining is an absolute classic not only of the horror genre but all of cinema. Starring Jack Nicholson in a career-making performance as writer Jack Torrance who takes a job as the off-season caretaker of the enormous, isolated, and completely spooky Overlook Hotel, the film features some of the most famous scenes in horror history. The twins. Redrum. The elevator scene. "Here's Johnny!" The list goes on and on. If you haven't seen The Shining yet… seriously… what are you waiting for? Go! Go!

ghostly adaptations

The Others

Alejandro Amenábar's The Others may be loosely inspired by The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but it sure has a personality all its own. Starring Nicole Kidman and Christopher Eccleston, the film is extremely slow-paced, but it's a worthwhile investment of time. A solid story that Amenábar gives plenty of time and space to unravel naturally (even if the "twist" turns out to be a bit heavy-handed), The Others is even more of an achievement in its spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. The cast is pitch-perfect and believable as "normal" people in this very "abnormal" situation. It may not be a great ghost movie, but it has aged pretty well since its release in 2001.

ghostly adaptations

The Legend of Hell House

Richard Matheson adapted his own novel Hell House for the 1973 film The Legend of Hell House. Directed by John Hough – who would go on to direct three of the creepiest Disney films of all time in Escape to Witch Mountain, Return from Witch Mountain, and The Watcher in the Woods – the film stars Roddy McDowall, Pamela Franklin, Clive Revill, and Gayle Hunnicutt. The Legend of Hell House is a pretty fantastic haunted house flick that takes place at the Belasco House (the "Mount Everest of haunted houses") where the original owner, millionaire (and murderer) Emeric Belasco, supposedly murdered numerous people who now haunt the estate. The film is filled with possessions, erotic visions, séances, and one super creepy chapel. The Legend of Hell House easily stands as a staple of the subgenre.

ghostly adaptations

The Woman in Black

If you think the upcoming Hammer Film Productions version of The Woman in Black is the first film to be adapted from the Susan Hill novel of the same name, you'd be wrong. The Woman in Black actually became a stage play first in 1987, before being adapted Nigel Kneale as a television drama in 1989 for the ITV Network. Directed by Herbert Wise, the highly underrated ghost story was a huge success and was even nominated for four BAFTA awards. It's full of spooky, fog-filled marshlands and is a genuinely haunting film. Which brings us to the upcoming 2012 version written by Jane Goldman, directed by James Watkins, and starring Janet McTeer, Ciaran Hinds, and Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe. While we have yet to see how well the Hammer version holds up, advance buzz is good and it'll certainly be fun to see Radcliffe break out of his usual mold with something truly scary.