Slasher Studios Interview: Noah Nicholas Nelson (PROM QUEEN)

Filmmaker Noah Nicholas Nelson has been a good friend of Slasher Studios for a long time now. In addition to being an aspiring filmmaker, he has also created some amazing artwork for our upcoming film IRRATIONAL FEAR. Today we had a chance to chat with Noah about his upcoming horror film PROM QUEEN, which is currently slashing up Indiegogo.

How would you describe your history with the horror genre?

I’ve religiously watched horror since virtually the day I was born. My grandma and older brother were always devoted horror fans, so I had a huge VHS collection accessible at both my home and any time I visited my grandma’s house. One of my first cinematic experiences I remember is watching The Car (1977) with my grandma. Although classified as a thriller, I still remember it being my introduction to how cinematic wide landscapes and the use of letterbox can be and I would still credit it for influencing me seek out thrillers and genre-benders as I got older. Despite being only 17, I make it my mission each year to broaden my horizons and knowledge of cinema. Dario Argento has always been my favorite horror director since discovering Suspiria. I’m still fascinated to this day by how much effort he put into every single frame of that film. Each shot could be framed in a museum. It’s that jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Excuse me for always finding a way to incorporate my undying love for Suspiria in each interview I do. It’s tradition at this point.

What made you decide to write Prom Queen?

I’ve always had a fascination with looking through old family photos and school yearbooks. There’s something magical about finding a special memory that strikes a chord. I’ve looked through some yearbooks where people will point out “oh, s/he was very popular!” and you always sort of wonder in the back of your mind what happens to those kids who were flying high in school. This is a story of where those people are now blended into the realm of horror/thriller.

What about this story makes it stand out from the other horror movies being made today?

At its core, this is a very cat-and-mouse type film. Simplicity has been my greatest demand regarding any ideas that me or my co-writer have thought of. I’ve studied some of the storytelling techniques of classic horror/thriller films from the ’60s and ’70s, even as far back as the ’30s to tell this tale. I think keeping the story focused around this woman who feels toxic to everyone around her can create horror within itself — perhaps moreso than the villain can supply.

Tell us about our current Indiegogo campaign for Prom Queen.

The campaign was created to raise as much funds as we could to make this the best it can possibly be. There was a great chance of the film being made without the campaign, but I can certainly say that it wouldn’t be half the film it will be without the support we’ve received. There are some incredible rewards for our gracious backers, including extremely limited-edition DVDs. There is a strong chance that less than 20 DVDs will ever be produced, so this is a very rare chance to own the film on physical media.

When/where do you plan on filming?

Filming will begin in my hometown in North Carolina in the early summer. I’m keeping cast and crew as local as I can, but I can promise that this will not compromise the quality of the film. Everyone involved is working their absolute hardest to make sure that this is the best it can possibly be with the resources available.

What plans do you have for the film once filming is complete?

I plan to have a final cut ready for release by this winter. Release will primarily be VOD, but as previously mentioned, a very limited DVD run will be available.

What specifically do you want to bring to the horror genre with this film?

I want to show that low-budget horror can be thrilling and chilling with a lot of heart. Each scene in this film (excluding the death scenes, of course) is deeply personal in some way — some of which I won’t reveal the reasons — but each scene was carefully devised to reflect a time in my, my family, or my friends’ lives. I want to bring “writing what you know” to a new and frightening level.

Where can readers go to find out more?

The film has official Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also find us on IMDb and Letterboxd.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pq2017
Twitter: @pq2017
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6502818/

Make sure to become an Indiegogo backer today and support indie horror!!

Second Opinion: SPLIT (2017) Review

About a week and a half ago I watched “Split (2017)” in theaters with my sister. This movie is directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). The cast includes James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class), Anya Taylor-Joy (The VVitch), Betty Buckley (Carrie), Haley Lu Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen) and Jessica Sula (Skins). I was excited about this movie ever since I saw the trailer for the first time in theaters during previews. I am familiar with the work of Shyamalan, but so far I had only seen After Earth and I heavily disliked that movie. I definitely need to start watching more of his older work soon. Split was met with terrific reviews from critics and audiences alike. It wouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I ended up loving this movie as well.

Split is one of those films where a lot of things just work. The storyline is fresh, original and full of unexpected twists. The acting performances are top notch. James McAvoy easily delivers his best performance to date and does a fine job by making you feel uneasy with his multiple character portrayals. Anya Taylor-Joy is an absolute trailblazer in this movie. I have yet to watch The VVitch and Morgan, but I can see this being a career defining performance for Taylor-Joy. Her scenes with McAvoy’s multiple personalities were hands down the best scenes. Betty Buckley was tremendous every second and her character offers more insight into the movie. Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula were both impactful during their limited amount of screen time. Shyamalan did outstanding in the writing and directing department. This movie revolved so much around character development and I think 50/50 of that aspect succeeded. I wish more of Kevin’s 23 distinct personalities would’ve “come to the light”.

The back and forth between present and past was a nice touch though and made the story more authentic. I took this movie very seriously unlike most audience members that misinterpreted things and started laughing about a mental disorder. The twist ending came out of nowhere and has left me with some homework to do. Split is a disturbing psychological horror with a message. Highly recommended!

–Ferdi Akkulak

Slasher Sale: DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS DVD & Limited Edition VHS

Who says you can’t celebrate holiday horror all year round? If you love holiday horror, Slasher Studios’ Dismembering Christmas is the movie for you. A tribute to the glory days of holiday horror, Dismembering Christmas can best be described as Friday the 13th meets Black Christmas. Have you ever wanted a Friday the 13th set in the winter? Well..so did Slasher Studios and that’s why they created this movie just for you. Practical effects from beginning to end, likable characters, and a kick ass final girl…what more could you want in a slasher?

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PLOT:
It was supposed to be a holiday vacation they would never forget, not a holiday vacation they would never survive. When Mark and his friends go up to his fathers new vacation home for Christmas vacation, they were ready for a fun time. Out in the middle of nowhere, the house is cheerfully decorated for Christmas. But an unknown visitor is there, and one by one they are murdered. Its Christmas and not a creature is stirring except the killer in the house…

DVD EXTRAS:
Audio commentary with Actor/Director Austin Bosley
Audio commentary with Writer/Producer Kevin Sommerfield
Bloopers
Fly on the Set: Making Of Dismembering Christmas
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer

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Dismembering Christmas DVD




Dismembering Christmas VHS


Dismembering Christmas VHS Options




Don’t forget to also pick up a Dismembering Christmas Limited Edition Tee!
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Artwork by the awesome Garreth Gibson Illustrations.


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Like Dismembering Christmas on Facebook:
Dismembering Christmas Facebook

Limited Edition DON’T GO TO THE REUNION Blu-Ray Almost Gone

Here’s your LAST chance to own our very first slasher feature in HD! Our Don’t Go to the Reunion limited edition blu-rays are now shipping and they are going fast! We started with a limited, hand numbered run of just 200 blurays and now we are down to a mere handful of copies. This is the first time Don’t Go to the Reunion has ever been released in HD and we have a bunch of brand new extras packed on this special edition.

Three options to purchase:
Blu-Ray standalone, with 11×17 limited edition Dismembering Christmas poster, or with poster & Dismembering Christmas DVD. Region free & shipping worldwide, order your limited edition, hand numbered bluray today.

Brand new special features include:
* All three Slasher Studios short films (Teddy, Popularity Killer, and Blood Brothers) in HD for the very first time.
* Filmmakers commentary
* Exclusive cast & crew interviews on the making of Don’t Go to the Reunion
* Don’t Go to the Reunion Video Review
* Don’t Go to the Reunion promo video
* Don’t Go to the Reunion trailer
* Don’t Go to the Reunion teaser trailer
* Dismembering Christmas trailer
* Theatrical World Premiere Interview With Director Steve Goltz & Writer Kevin Sommerfield
* Slasher Studios Horror Podcast audio feature (A Look Back at Don’t Go to the Reunion)
and MUCH MORE!


Don’t Go to the Reunion




Found Footage Horror: CREEP (2014) Review

On Friday night I watched “Creep (2014)” on Netflix for the first time. This movie is directed by Patrick Brice (The Overnight). The cast includes Mark Duplass (The League) and Patrick Brice. Brice and Duplass also wrote the screenplay for the movie together. Jason Blum served as co-producer through his BH Tilt division. Creep received a glowing reception from critics and most horror fans alike. It’s a good thing that I managed to avoid watching a trailer for this movie beforehand. After finishing Creep I can definitely agree with the general consensus.

This movie came such a long way with a simple premise. I’ve honestly grown a little tired of the “found footage” subgenre over the past couple of years, but this aspect didn’t bother me at all while watching Creep. The acting performances are great. Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice work wonders with their self-written characters. It also doesn’t hurt that both men are super easy on the eyes. There are plenty of suspenseful moments throughout the movie, but there’s also a surprising amount of comedy hidden in the core. That “Peachfuzz” mask was sheer genius and became ironically iconic. The ending came out of nowhere and left me in a state of shock.

This movie could have benefited from a longer running time and a better motive for our villain. I often wondered what his real story was and what actually happened to him that justified his actions. This movie feels like an experiment that succeeded for most part and I think this was purposely the original idea from the makers. Which brings me to the following good news: Creep is officially becoming a trilogy with two more sequels on the way from Duplass/Brice! I’m curious to see where they’ll take the story, but I’m definitely excited about the news. Creep makes for a clever, creepy and unique viewing experience that isn’t entirely flawless – but is truly a cut above recent found-footage outings. I highly recommend going into this movie as fresh as possible. I might plan on importing the DVD from the United States in the near future – especially for the special features. Check this out on Netflix – if you have a subscription of course!

-Ferdi Akkulak

Terror Runs Skin Deep: GET OUT (2017) Review

A young black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) goes home with this white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her rich, posh family. To his dismay, Rose hasn’t informed her family that he’s white. With that already on his mind he feels nervous. When he meets the family, things start out well-enough, but as the visit furthers and he meets friends of the family, and the unusual family helpers (also black), Chris begins to realize something isn’t right.

I was skeptical of Get Out at first upon seeing the trailers, it caught my attention for sure with how bizarre and weird it was. Though I couldn’t help but think that this was going to be an anti-white/racial film disguised as a horror film. I realize some may not have seen it this way, but that’s just me. That aside, the final result of the movie isn’t anything like the trailer. So major props to that. It only gives a slight idea what the film is about and the film goes a lot farther than that. So the fact that it didn’t linger on the racial themes and beat us over the head with it was a major relief. The racial elements are there but not don’t completely take over the film. I will say that the reveal of the motives for the family is really weird and farfetched, but it’s an idea that’s easy enough to roll with. It’s definitely an original horror film that’s for sure. The flow of the film is really solid in how it begins light-hearted enough, but you gradually become just as uncomfortable as Chris and become more and more unsettled until the completely bonkers final act when all hell breaks loose. Some of the tension is lessened with some of the phone calls Chris makes to his friends back home who works for the TSA who has theories of his own. These moments have just the right amount of comedy to elicit laughs and then the horror pulls you right back in. It’s even better that the friendship between the two feels real. The character of Chris is also really likable, so you are really rooting for him the whole time.

It’s clear the film is having fun with itself, the very few jump scares it has are the cheap ones, but it’s aware how silly they are. But to add more suspense to the film is the excellent and creepy score that lingers through the film and adds to the uneasiness of it. What it also does well is how it makes you think you have a grasp of where the film is going but then it takes some turns and goes somewhere else. Daniel Kaluuya provides an excellent breakthrough performance as Chris as the very rare male lead, and even more rare is the fact that he’s a male lead that’s likable and someone to root for. Even in moments where Chris shows a vulnerable side, Kaluuya conveys very rich and genuine emotions. When you think about it, the components I just mentioned are a rare find for a lead male in a horror film. He’s portrayed as some sexy, CW tough guy, he comes off as real and like your average lead. Allison Williams does fine with the role as Rose, she’s pretty basic, even in the end when everything gets crazy, but she’s far from bad. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener star as Rose’s parents and both knock it out of the park. Most especially Keener in her one-on-one scenes with Chris as she psychoanalyzes and hypnotizes him. They have this way of making you feel so unsettled and that helps you get put in Chris’ shoes. LilRel Howery plays Chris’ friend Rod who provides much of the comic relief of the movie, but instead of being just the comic relief for the movie he does show concern for his friend when necessary and actually does something to try and help him find out what’s going on.

While I didn’t love Get Out nearly as much as most do (it’s not worth 100% in my opinion on Rotten Tomatoes), but it is a well-done and fresh horror film that offers something new to the genre in terms of how things flow, emotions, the portrayal of the male lead, and great acting.

-Cody Landman

Love Hurts: VALENTINE (2001) Review

On Valentine’s Day I watched “Valentine (2001)” for the first time. This movie is directed by Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend) and loosely based on the novel of the same name by Tom Savage. The cast includes Denise Richards (Starship Troopers), David Boreanaz (Bones), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror), Jessica Capshaw (Minority Report), Jessica Cauffiel (Legally Blonde) and Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy). I’ve had the DVD of this movie in my collection for a couple of years now. Valentine received a somewhat lukewarm reception from critics during its original release, but the horror community appears to be showing WAY more love for this holiday horror. I ended up leaning towards the latter spectre. Valentine is nothing but a fun, fast paced and entertaining horror movie. The deaths are creative and I absolutely loved the Cupid mask that the killer wears. The acting performances are varying from good to bad. My favorite characters in this movie were definitely Paige (Denise Richards), Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) and Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw). These actresses deserved much more screen time in my opinion.

I thought the opening scene with Katherine Heigl was superb and she did a fine job with her limited role. I enjoyed watching David Boreanaz in this movie, his performance was neutral at best though. Which brings me to my biggest issue I’ve had with this movie (and ironicly similar to Blanks’ superior Urban Legend): the final girl was shockingly miscast. I like Marley Shelton as an actress, but this particular role should’ve went to a different actress. She paled in comparison to her other female co-stars. Bland performance. I adored the star studded ensemble cast nonetheless. The soundtrack is brilliant and easily ranks as one of my favorite horror soundtracks. I’m still a little 50/50 on the plot twist at the end. So many red herrings were thrown our way altogether. That pay off should’ve lasted at least 10 minutes longer. Furthermore I liked the look of this movie in terms of style and cinematography. The script needed some enhancement in a handful of scenes. Valentine is still much better than average and totally worth a look!

–Ferdi Akkulak

Second Opinion: THE BYE BYE MAN (2017) Review

On Thursday I watched “The Bye Bye Man (2017)” in theaters on opening day. This movie is directed by Stacy Title (The Last Supper) and based on the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” in Robert Damon Schneck’s book The President’s Vampire. The cast includes Douglas Smith (Ouija), Lucien Laviscount (Scream Queens), Cressida Bonas (Tulip Fever), Michael Trucco (Hush), Jenna Kanell (Misfortune), Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Leigh Whannell (Saw) and Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth) as the titular character.

The trailer for this movie made me slightly enthusiastic. The bad reviews were starting to pour in and I was hoping for the best, but fearing for the worst. Let’s not forget that this movie went from an R rating to a watered down PG-13 rating – which is rarely a good sign. After seeing The Bye Bye Man there is only one proper word that I can describe it with: generic. The concept had so much potential, but all of that was tossed out of the window when the movie started. The opening is unintentionally hilarious and looked like something right out of a Funny or Die skit. We never learn about the motive behind The Bye Bye Man. The acting performances are a mixed bag. Doug Jones did the best he could with his embodiment of The Bye Bye Man and he’s certainly not the reason why this movie failed. The main characters are horribly fleshed out – to the point where I was confused as to who played who.

Douglas Smith could’ve been so much better here. He isn’t a bad actor per se, but this was nothing to write home about. I really liked Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Trucco in their respective supporting roles of detective and concerned older brother. The former deserved a larger role and the latter was the voice of reason. The rest of the performances are bland and uninspired. This movie is muddled with bad CGI (see: the hound) and the jump scares are non-effective. I was hoping for something original, but instead there are many rip-offs to better movies. The ending is dissatisfying. There were only a handful of things that I liked. This idea deserved a better execution. Worth the price of admission? 💸 Nope.

–Ferdi Akkulak

Save $5! DON’T GO TO THE REUNION & DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS DVD Combo Packs

For a limited time only, purchase DON’T GO TO THE REUNION & DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS on DVD and save $5. Normally these two dvds sell for $15 each but we are currently offering a combo pack featuring both movies for just $25. Purchase before January 30th and receive a FREE poster with your order, while supplies last.

Don’t Go to the Reunion DVD Special Features Include:

* Audio Commentary with the filmmakers
* Teaser Trailer
* Blooper Reel
* “Class of 2004” Yearbook
* Audition Reels
* Three Slasher Studios short films (Teddy, Popularity Killer, Blood Brothers)

Dismembering Christmas DVD Special Features Include:

* Audio commentary with Actor/Director Austin Bosley
* Audio commentary with Writer/Producer Kevin Sommerfield
* Bloopers
* Fly on the Set: Making Of Dismembering Christmas
* Theatrical Trailer
* Teaser Trailer


DVD 2-Pack




Free DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS DVD With T-Shirt Purchase

You slasher fans have been awesome to us and we want to share the love back to you as way to celebrate the beginning of a new year! From now until January 30th (or while supplies last) purchase a Dismembering Christmas t-shirt and you’ll receive a FREE Dismembering Christmas DVD (regularly $15). Once these shirts are gone, so is the sale!

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DVD Extras include:
Audio commentary with Actor/Director Austin Bosley
Audio commentary with Writer/Producer Kevin Sommerfield
Cast/Crew Bloopers
Fly on the Set: Making Of Dismembering Christmas
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer


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