Food For Thought: RAW (2017) Review

Justine is starting her freshman year at veterinary school, along with her older sister Alex. The two girls grew up with strict parents who raised them as vegans. During the freshman hazing, Justine is forced to taste raw meat, and as a result of this she develops a strong craving for more.

This French horror film is the latest entry into the cannibal horror subgenre. Apart from its great amount of praise, I’ve also read of different reports where people at screenings have vomited or passed out, and some theaters even gave out barf bags. For me personally, I didn’t find this really that incredibly gross. Previous films such as Bite and even Green Inferno (which I didn’t care for or find that gross) had more gross-out moments. There definitely were some uncomfortable moments and cringe-worthy scenes in Raw, but nothing dramatic enough to make you want to puke or pass out. But in all honesty, this movie doesn’t need super gross out moments to be as great as it was. Sure it can be nasty due to the subject matter, but this works perfectly as a psychological horror. The horror of it all stems from seeing Justine as this quiet and shy freshman, and then we see her becoming more and more deranged and pretty terrifying. You could even say that we see her becoming less and less human and into more of this deadly predator. Not only is she becoming cannibalistic, but she’s also awakening her sexuality, leading to some extremely erotic behavior blended in with the horror.

To help boost the horror, the terrific cinematography can often times be beautiful and then quickly turn to nightmare in nature in how scenes are film and the imagery provided (and we can definitely thank the director Julia Ducournau for her great vision). But it’s the incredible performance of Garance Marillier as Justine who brings the horror to life. Marillier’s whole performance is just so flawless in how she captures the innocence of Justine in the beginning and shows her gradual change to madness. She captures the cravings Justine is feeling in facial expressions and even better physical performances. Some of my favorite moments however are when she really gives it all she has to show Justine’s animalistic side. Plain and simple, it’s Marillier’s performance that brings us the true horror of the film in Justine descent to madness. Ella Rumpf also provides a solid performances as Justine’s sister who gives a performance where we are unsure whether we should trust or even like her. Rabah Nait Oufella is easily the most likable character as Justine’s roommate Adrien. He brings a huge amount of likability to the role in how he looks out for Justine, but also how he is becoming fearful of her as she becomes more crazed.

If you are going to watch Raw thinking it’s going to be a huge gore-fest because of it being a cannibal movie, you’ll probably be disappointed. But I would still highly encourage you to watch it because of the true horror lying in its story, direction, imagery, and especially the performance of our lead. There are still some good gore scenes and cringe worthy moments though. This is easily one of the best horror films of the year.

–Cody Landman

IRRATIONAL FEAR Artwork Contest Ends Soon

In just three weeks, Slasher Studios will begin filming our third slasher feature IRRATIONAL FEAR. In the past, we received over 100 poster art submissions for our first two slashers, Don’t Go to the Reunion & Dismembering Christmas. Now we want YOU to create the ULTIMATE Irrational Fear poster! You have until May 31st to submit your best Irrational Fear poster art. This summer, we will let the fans decide which poster they like best with the winners announced shortly thereafter. The winners will receive their artwork on either the DVD, Blu-Ray, or VHS release of the film. Send your submissions to [email protected] Make your best FEAR count!

Make sure to like the official FB page for updates on the film:
IRRATIONAL FEAR FACEBOOK

Dead Space: ALIEN: COVENANT (2017) Review

A ship carrying thousands of colonials is on its way to a new planet for them to inhabit veers off course after receiving a strange signal. They discover a new planet that appears already inhabited but also devoid of life. When they uncover the truth of this planet they find their lives in great danger.

Let me start off by saying that I personally really liked the predecessor to this film Prometheus. Many hated it because it wasn’t “Alien enough.” I can understand this. But after seeing Alien: Covenant, it made me like Prometheus a whole lot more. If anyone who hated Prometheus sees this movie and says it’s better, I will be truly baffled. The trailer for this movie made it seems like this would be a true Alien film. Not the case at all. Yes we have our beloved Xenomophs and our new aliens called the Neomorphs. The Neomoprhs have a mere 7 minutes of screentime in just the one sitting half way through the film. And it’s only an hour and half into the movie when we get any Alien-related action. And even then it’s not used in a treating way because it’s so fast-paced. That right there mostly sums up the only good part of the movie. The whole first hour and half goes by so slowly and it’s beyond boring with its pointless philosophical exposition. Prometheus had this, sure, but it also used it sparingly and had it’s thrilling moments in between.

By the time we get to good Alien stuff, as mentioned, it’s too rushed to really enjoy and bask in. All of the good horror stuff you see in the trailer doesn’t happen until within the last half hour of the movie. Apart from the boring exposition we are stuck with the most uninteresting and boring characters ever, and the character who show the smallest bit of personality are left behind on the ship while the others explore the area, and one dies early on. If we are supposed to see Katherine Waterston as a Ripley type character, that’s a huge joke, her character is so boring and pathetic, and all Waterston does is walk around moping because her husband (a pointless cameo by James Franco) dies right when we meet these characters, and gets even more mopey when she doesn’t get her or no one listens to her. Apart from Waterston, the acting by the rest of the cast is decent for the most part. The more stronger performances come from Michael Fassbender playing dual roles as the returning character David from Prometheus, and the new cyborg Walter. Billy Crudup plays the ship’s captain, and while Crudup does fine with the role as the tortured captain who is trying to do what’s best for his crew (failing miserably), he could have upped the emotional level a bit. Carmen Ejogo also turns in one of the stronger performances (and also was my personal favorite character) as Crudup’s wife. She’s essentially the brainy scientist of the crew and acts as Crudup’s moral compass, and she really is the only moralistic one who puts her life on the line to help others. Danny McBride is worth noting here, although I wasn’t crazy about the performance, but for his first major serious role he does pretty good here, but he also doesn’t get enough to do.

Covenant also suffers from some of the most awkward scenes ever created. One featuring David teaching Walter how to play a handmade flute (featuring even more awkward dialogue involving fingering, holes, and blowing), the other scene involving a kiss between the two Fassbenders, and just a pointless and out of place shower half-sex scene. The whole movie just has some pretty bad dialogue. In all honesty, the only interesting moments involve David recalling the events between Prometheus and Covenant, and the small amount of Alien action we do get. And I won’t give anything away, but we find out the creation of the Xenomorphs, and quite frankly, it sucks, and makes you wish they had never even bothered to share this information. Sadly this (for me) is the worst entry in the series. But while I didn’t like it at all, there some things I did like. I noted the certain performances and characters, and the alien stuff, but there is also the (as per usual) gorgeous cinematography and some great set pieces.

Alien: Covenant really just suffers from a terrible script. It’s all over the place and has no real direction of what it’s trying to be. It tries and fails poorly to be a Prometheus sequel and an Alien prequel. And quite frankly this had no business using Alien in the title because there isn’t nothing Alien about this in tone or feel, and the small and rushed bit of Alien stuff we get isn’t satisfying enough. Prometheus at least didn’t try to be anything it wasn’t unlike this movie. Had there been Xeno and alien action sprinkled throughout as the trailers seemed to imply this could have been much better than it actually was.

–Cody Landman

IRRATIONAL FEAR Killer Bonus Rewards End May 31st

May 31st is the final day to receive some killer bonus rewards and get your name in our IRRATIONAL FEAR credits! Did you miss out on our IRRATIONAL FEAR arter? We have expanded several of the perk rewards here on Slasher Studios. Every single dollar raised will go directly into the filming of IRRATIONAL FEAR. Support indie horror and pick up some killer rewards!

What is IRRATIONAL FEAR?
Everyone has something they are afraid of that they know cannot possibly hurt them. With our third horror feature we ask..what if these fears could kill them? Slasher Studios is teaming up with LA Horror to bring you a slasher style feature that is unlike anything Slasher Studios has ever done before. Titled IRRATIONAL FEAR, the film centers around six therapy patients are brought together at a secluded cabin to confront their strangest fears. Little do they know, these fears will certainly be the death for some of them. Who will make it out alive?

Filming begins June 12th!

REWARDS AVAILABLE:
Donate $10 (or more): Receive a special link to view the film early & social media shout out!
Donate $25 (or more): Special link to view the film early, social media shout out, & your name in the credits!
Donate $30 (or more): All of the above & IRRATIONAL FEAR on DVD.
Donate $40 (or more): All of the above with IRRATIONAL FEAR on Limited Edition Blu-Ray instead of DVD.
Donate $75 (or more): All of the above (DVD or Bluray) & Slasher Studios two previous films on DVD.

If you are international, please add $10 to donation amount to cover shipping on physical reward items.





Dream A Little Dream: DEAD AWAKE (2017) Review

A young woman experiencing sleep paralysis begins to realize there’s more to fear than just the instances themselves. After her twin sister is killed during her sleep paralysis, she discovers a demon that kills its victim while in their paralytic state. Now it’s up to her to find out more about this demon and how to stop it from coming after more people she loves.

Dead Awake is actually pretty damn good horror film that managed to keep my attention all the way through. The concept of sleep paralysis has interested me a lot ever since the documentary The Nightmare covered it. I personally didn’t care for The Nightmare that much, so I was excited that there was finally a horror movie coming out covering the topic. I haven’t experienced this state personally, but it’s always represented as a pretty horrific one. Both The Nightmare and Dead Awake make this experience something I don’t want to encounter. In this movie it does deal with sleep paralysis, but much of the story is very reminiscent of Nightmare on Elm Street, more so the remake. It deals with people dying in their sleep after being killed by a demon that haunts them, we have a character who is trying to find out about said demon, characters who refuse to sleep because of this (some going crazy), and the concept of “if you believe it, it gets stronger”. While these similarities are striking, it does a good job of being it’s own story. It’s not a great movie by any means, but it’s one that I highly recommend. If the concept of sleep paralysis interests you and you love horror movies (especially of this caliber) then you may enjoy it. The imagery in their dream states is actually pretty haunting, and the demon at the center of it all is pretty creepy, but also looks similar to most human-looking demons/ghosts we see in horror. We also have a great lead character played by Jocelin Donahue (who does a great job as always).

What I liked about Donahue’s character is that she is clearly afraid of what’s happening to her, but she’s willing to keep putting herself in these situations in order to try defeat the demon in order to save those around her. Jesse Bradford does a decent enough job as brother of the dead sister. The character himself is your basic sidekick male lead, but he’s also painted as the tortured artist/painter (even the long and full grown beard to make him look like Charles Manson). Lori Petty has a cameo as the “professional” Donahue’s character seeks help from but keeps shutting down her claims about the demon. If we were supposed to really hate the character, then Petty does a great job of making us hate her. What I was disappointed about was the lack of Brea Grant. I really liked what we had of her, but I was hoping she would have had a bit more to do other than be the neglected housewife friend of Donahue’s who also is experiencing these dream states. Dead Awake won’t go down as being memorable, but it’s a good horror movie to relax and enjoy with its engaging concept and very creepy imagery.

–Cody Landman

Horror-Scope: AWAKENING THE ZODIAC (2017) Review

A couple that is hurting for money and barely getting by become the owner’s of some old film reels. These films just so happen to be the recorded murders by the Zodiac killer. The couple learns that there is a huge reward for anyone who can provide evidence to the killer’s identity. Seeing this as their big break they decide to turn it over, that is until they start watching more of the films they decide to do some of their own investigations to find out who the Zodiac is. But the further they investigate, the more in danger they find themselves as the Zodiac killer begins to target them.

The plot of Awakening the Zodiac sounds like a good one, and it is a good one. However, while the plot is good, there just isn’t any substance to it. Unlike David Fincher’s film Zodiac, which was totally atmospheric, and often times pretty damn scary, this one has none of that. This movie would have been much better off had the killer been more menacing and tormented this couple more, which he barely did at all. The whole movie is the couple and the shop owner who gave them the reels doing their investigations (and they’re exactly as you can imagine). Needless to say the movie is pretty boring. We have maybe one creepy moment with the Zodiac and in all honesty it’s not even that creepy. There are only two kills, which are not only lame in how basic they are and not like the Zodiac at all, but the scenes themselves aren’t chilling or engaging. And worst of all in the final act we see the killer unmasked and going on your basic killer tangent with the victim(s). This only made him even more un-scary. And don’t get me started on the horribly tacked on and clichéd final five minutes.

On a positive note however, the movie is really well filmed. The couple at the center of all this is likable enough, but they’re so bland and boring, as are the performances of Shane West and Leslie Bibb who play the couple. Now, I’m not saying West and Bibb are bad but their performances just weren’t that engaging. It’s unfortunate that for such a promising concept, it really doesn’t go into as dark or suspenseful territory as it should have. Hell, it even makes a mockery of the Zodiac killer by making him come off as so unthreatening and the kind of killer you’d see on Law & Order or some Lifetime drama. There’s no real sense of danger here. It’s just all boring investigation and drama with even more boring final act, featuring boring characters.

–Cody Landman

Slashing Up Summer: $10 Slasher Studios DVD Sale

4pack

Summer is just around the corner but the slashing never stops here at Slasher Studios! For a limited time only, all dvds are just $10 (regularly $15) with a free Slasher Studios poster and if you purchase all four dvds, you will save an additional $5 and receive two Slasher Studios posters absolutely free! This is a killer deal that won’t last long so support some indie horror and pick up yours today. International slasher fans..we ship worldwide and all dvds are region free!


DVD




The Best of the Worst: Bad Horror Movie Taglines

Nothing makes us giggle with delight quite like a bad horror movie tagline. More puny, more funny as we always say. Today we’d like to bring to you a collection of taglines that might make you laugh, might make you groan, and might just make you wish it was the 1980’s all over again. What horror movies have your favorite taglines and has a horror movie tagline ever sold you on a movie that you weren’t quite sure about? Let us know in the comments below!

NEARLY SOLD OUT: $10 DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS T-SHIRT SALE

12079081_828862817234193_3028199549406547771_n

We are clearing out the very last of our limited edition Dismembering Christmas shirts with a huge blow out sale. From now until June 13th, all t-shirts are currently only $10 instead of the regular price of $20. We only have sizes Small, Medium, and XL left so get yours while you can! Show off your slasher pride today!


T-shirt




Occult Horror: WOLVES AT THE DOOR (2017) Review

Based on the true events of the murder of Sharon Tate and her friends by the Manson Family, it depicts the events on that horrific night. What was supposed to be a nice, quiet, and fun night eventually turns into one that shocked and disturbed the country.

The thing with this movie for me, is that it’s not a bad movie itself, it’s just badly made. The movie runs at a mere 75 minutes; and at first I thought it could have been a good thing in order to prevent it from dragging on more than it needed to. It turns out that the short running time is one of its huge downfalls. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that felt so rushed. Due to the short runtime, the characters are greatly underdeveloped. We only get brief snippets of the characters to get an emotional attachment to them, but it’s not exactly enough. We care for them sure, but we don’t really get to know them. Ironically, they chose to focus more on the secondary couple of Abigail and Wojciech (played by Elizabeth Henstridge and Adam Campbell). They’re a very likable couple from what we see of them, but you would think they would have chosen to focus more on Sharon Tate (Katie Cassidy) and her boyfriend Jay (Miles Fisher). These two quite frankly don’t get much development at all (at times it seems they’re hardly even in it). With Tate I can only assume we’re just supposed to worry for her because she’s pregnant, which is understandable, but at the same time don’t let that speak for the character. Even Sharon and Jay’s relationship comes off as non-existent.

Had this been longer, we could have been given a lot more of these characters and their relationships with one another and actually make us care for them more. For those who know the story of these murders, it does bring on a massive sense of dread knowing that the outcome for these characters won’t be a positive one. And this sense of dread does in a sense provide a good and emotional impact on the movie. However, if you’re one of the people who thinks it’s in “poor taste” to have made a movie about this, then don’t bother with this one. I’m personally glad someone had the guts to finally touch upon this story. They don’t show the murder of the pregnant Tate, but the way it plays out in your head is probably much worse than them actually showing it. Instead of playing out the movie with the story it’s trying to tell it ends up becoming more like The Strangers and your basic home invasion movie. I feel like had this been a slow-burn horror movie with all of the terror coming towards the end with more character development, but also giving us hints of what’s to come (such as news reports of previous Manson break ins or crimes, not counting the opening scene). The suspense and intensity works here, but also could have been stretched out better instead of being clumped together.

Also, for a movie that takes place in the late 60s, there wasn’t anything that felt 60s about this movie. They tried to make it look 60s, but even that felt half-assed. In terms of acting, we kind of have a mixed bag. Elizabeth Henstridge provides the strongest performance of them all (this could be due to the fact that she has the most development and screen time), Katie Cassidy has more weak moments than she does strong ones; however, the moment where she is taken to her ultimately doom, Cassidy nails it here and makes the moment really gut-wrenching as she only fears for the life of her unborn child. The two male actors are basically the weakest of the bunch because of how bland they come off. I could almost say that maybe had their characters been more developed, the cast could have been able to turn in stronger performances.

While this movie could have been much worse in terms of brutality, it’s definitely not for the most sensitive of viewers. It has some decent terror in it, and the knowing sense of dread really helps with making the movie all the more horrific. Despite this, Wolves at the Door suffers from an extremely rushed script with underdeveloped characters and story, with performances ranging from weak to decent because of it, and extremely weak portrayal of the time period it takes place in.

–Cody Landman