This is Horror, Issue 8: Bethany, Fraility, and Sea Monsters

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Horror post on Sci-Fi & ScaryThis is Horror is a sampling of Horror Movies, Art, Fiction, and Gaming, and more. A little bit of everything to make the horror hound in you feel all fuzzy and warm. Or tingle with anticipation. Whatever works for you. Hope you enjoy!

This is Horror’s Quote to Consider

“It hungers, always.
It takes shape after shape as its own, and each body it puts on is as hungry as the last.”
― Adam Slater, Hunted

 

Horror Movies

Horror Movie Suggestion for the Week

Your horror movie suggestion for this week is Frailty. Directed and starring the late Bill Paxton Frailty is a very underrated psychological thriller. It’s creepy and will crawl under your skin and stay there. Matthew McConaughey and Powers Booth play well off of each other and the lines Matthew McConaughey delivers are chilling.

 

Synopsis: “A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions led to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.””

Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Booth


Opening This Week (April 21st):

Movie Cover for Phoenix Forgotten Phoenix Forgotten Synopsis: 20 years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.

Starring: Florence Hartigan, Luke Spencer Roberts, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews

Watch the Phoenix Forgotten trailer.

Read our interview with director Justin Barber.

 

 


Featured Horror from DeviantArt

Star Spawn Codex by MrZarono on DeviantArt

I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled upon MrZarono before. I absolutely love some of the work I saw on his page! Definitely stop by DeviantArt and give him some love.


Notable Events in Horror History

5 Horror Actors Born (April 8- April 21):

Tim Curry – April 19th (It)

Maria Bello – April 18th (Lights Out)

Anya Taylor-Joy – April 16th (The Witch)

Sarah Michelle Gellar – April 14th (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Jessica Lange – April 20th (American Horror Story)

5 Horror Movies Released (April 8- April 21)

Demon Seed (1997)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Sleepwalkers (1992)

Cat’s Eye (1985)

Silent Hill (2006)


Horror Books

New Horror Releases

The Scarlet Coven Synopsis:

New York 1936. Leading New York detective Simon Finch has received an unexpected inheritance and left the force to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. But a true detective is never far from finding trouble…or trouble finding him…

A stranger approaches Finch in the Algonquin Hotel, asking him to help find his sister who has disappeared. When he later visits the man’s hotel room he discovers that he has been murdered – stabbed with a dagger decorated with strange markings. As Finch investigates further he discovers recently acquitted crime boss Fats Molloy is mixed up with the man’s murder and the missing sister. The trail leads him to an occult bookshop …has the missing woman been kidnapped by a group of Satanists, The Scarlet Coven?

Joining forces with a black private eye, Patrick Murphy, who is also investigating the cult, they endure a series of wild adventures and close calls with demonic forces as they seek the truth about the mysterious leader of the Coven…and the nefarious plans for death and mayhem…


Dark Screams Synopsis:

Stephen King, Lisa Morton, Nell Quinn-Gibney, Norman Prentiss, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tim Curran plunge readers into the dark side in this deeply unsettling short-story collection curated by legendary horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.

THE OLD DUDE’S TICKER by Stephen King: Richard Drogan has been spooked ever since he came back from Nam, but he’s no head case, dig? He just knows the old dude needs to die. || THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT by Lisa Morton: Even though she made her name revealing the private lives of the rich and famous, Sara Peck has no idea how deep their secrets really go . . . or the price they’ll pay to get what they desire.|| THE MANICURE by Nell Quinn-Gibney: A trip to the nail salon is supposed to be relaxing. But as the demons of the past creep closer with every clip, even the most serene day of pampering can become a nightmare. || THE COMFORTING VOICE by Norman Prentiss: It’s a little strange how baby Lydia can only be soothed by her grandfather’s unnatural voice, ravaged by throat cancer. The weirdest part? What he’s saying is more disturbing than how he says it. ||THE SITUATIONS by Joyce Carol Oates:  There are certain lessons children must learn, rules they must follow, scars they must bear. No lesson is more important than this: Never question Daddy. Or else.|| THE CORPSE KING by Tim Curran: Grave robbers Kierney and Clow keep one step ahead of the law as they ply their ghoulish trade, but there’s no outrunning a far more frightening enemy that hungers for the dead.

 

Penance Synopsis:

The tense, chilling story of four women haunted by a childhood trauma.
When they were children, Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko were tricked into separating from their friend Emily by a mysterious stranger. Then the unthinkable occurs: Emily is found murdered hours later.
Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko weren’t able to accurately describe the stranger’s appearance to the police after the Emili’s body was discovered. Asako, Emily’s mother, curses the surviving girls, vowing that they will pay for her daughter’s murder.
Like Confessions, Kanae Minato’s award-winning, internationally bestselling debut, PENANCE is a dark and voice-driven tale of revenge and psychological trauma that will leave readers breathless.


Sea Monsters? See Monsters!

Book cover for Monsters in Our Wake

Book cover for Mega by Jake Bible

Book cover for Beast by Peter Benchley


Terrorific Trivia: Reading Music

GracieKat:  I suppose it’s not exactly trivia but I find it interesting how many songs have books as their inspiration. It also seems to be rock/metal/New Wave Punk that are the most prolific. I’m referencing strictly songs that are influenced by horror here. I am also leaving off Lovecraftian songs as they are a list unto themselves and will be forthcoming soon from us in a separate post of it’s own. I am also leaving off any songs inspired by The Lord of the Rings as they are fantasy and also so numerous that they will have a separate list of their own. So get your earbuds in and get ready to check out some music based on horror novels.

1. A Skeleton in the ClosetAnthrax
From the album Among the Living and based on the story Apt Pupil by Stephen King. Apt Pupil is a novella length story from the book Different Seasons.

“All american, an evil game of extortion
A sick old man, and who would guess
He was once S.S.
A deadly fascination, of a madman’s solution”


2. Hands of Your GodJorn Lande & Trond Holter
From the album Dracula: Swing of Death. The entire album (obviously) is about Dracula but my favorite song is the Hands of Your God track.

“Embraced your god with heart and soul.
You blessed me, then you killed my love.
I cursed my faith in the lord from the devils shore.
I promise you a genocide, a dawn of death and fraud.
I’ll paint the world with the blood from the hands of your god.”


3. The Stand The Alarm
This song comes courtesy of Kelluloid Sinema who is always awesome with music and horror items. Thanks!
The song itself comes from The Alarm’s album Declaration. The song, which I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, is inspired by Stephen King’s The Stand.

“Oh, I have been out searching with the black book in my hand
And I’ve looked between the lines that lie on the pages that I tread
I met the walking dude, religious, in his worn down cowboy boots
He walked liked no man on earth
I swear he had no name”


4. Among the LivingAnthrax
Speaking of The Stand…we have another song, this time by Anthrax from the album of the same name.

“Disease! Disease! Spreading the disease.
With some help from Captain Trips,
He’ll bring the world down to his knees.
Power, yes Power! He’ll show them all his power.”


5. Rime of the Ancient MarinerIron Maiden
From their album Powerslave. I realize it is a poem and not technically a book it still belongs, in my opinion at least, firmly in the horror tradition. The image of the Ancient Mariner cursed to wander to tell his tale to the mesmerized wedding guest, the Albatross of guilt hung immovably about his neck and the roll of the dice between Death and Life-in-Death for the fate of the crew and captain are all images to cool the blood.

“Death and she Life in Death,
They throw their dice for the crew
She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now.
Then, crew one by one
they drop down dead, two hundred men
She, she, Life in Death.
She lets him live, her chosen one.”


6. Hey Pretty (Drive-By Version 2001) Poe
Poe’s album Haunted is linked very closely with the book The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Which is not very surprising, considering that Poe is the sister of Mr. Danielewski. The Drive-By Version 2001 (which is a terrible name for it) has part of the original Hey Pretty song, mixed in with Mr. Danielewski reading excerpts from House of Leaves. It works better together than it has any right to and is also notable for being one of the few Pop songs on the list. The only thing that’s a tad creepy is how sexual the reading is and her parts of the video are also sexy. Which isn’t so bad…until you remember they’re brother and sister. Thank Cthulhu they’re not on-screen together. It would be a bit awkward.

Poe:
“Hey pretty
Don’t you wanna take a ride with me?
Through my world
Hey pretty
Don’t you wanna kick and slide
Through my world”

Mark:
“We never even kissed, or looked into each other’s eyes, our lips just
Trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears,
Filled them with the private music of wicked words
Hers in many languages, mine in the off-color of my only tongue”


7. Pet SemataryThe Ramones
I believe this song was actually written for the movie but since the movie is based on the book by Stephen King it’s pretty much semantics.

“I don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,
I don’t want to live my life again,
I don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,
I don’t want to live my life again.”


8. Old FriendDisturbed
It has been confirmed by David Dramain that the song is indeed about Dexter. It’s pretty obvious from the lyrics but it’s nice to have it confirmed nonetheless. From the album The Lost Children it’s a little unclear whether it’s about the tv series or the books. But, once again, semantics.

“The blood became my life
When I was trapped inside
And I can feel the Dark Passenger calling me
My mother’s blood and mine
Uniquely intertwined
Help me father purge the memory from my mind”


9. The Phantom of the OperaIron Maiden
From their self-titled album and released in 1980 The Phantom of the Opera is based on the book, I believe, rather than the movie or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical

“I’m running and hiding in my dreams you’re always there.
You’re the Phantom of the Opera, you’re the devil, you’re just out to scare.
You damaged my mind and my soul it just floats through the air.
Haunt me, you taunt me, you torture me back at your lair.”


10. For Whom the Bell TollsMetallica
Based on the Ernest Hemingway book. While not actually ‘horror’ per se, but war is pretty freaking horrific so I’m putting it in.

“Take a look to the sky just before you die
It’s the last time he will
Blackened roar, massive roar, fills the crumbling sky
Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry”


That may be a little longer of a trivia section than you were prepared for but it’s a huge stereotype that metal-heads are barely literate and can hardly read the names of the albums they buy. It’s an irritating one and still pretty pervasive. so, I just wanted to take a minute to try and dispel that notion a bit. Thank you much for bearing with me.


Horror on the Web

Paste Magazine has The 10 Best Horror Movies of 2017 (So Far)
Bloody Disgusting has an article on a new Monster Movie called Zombiesaurus
And to continue the IT hype-train Body Disgusting also has 10 Different book covers of Stephen King’s IT
Horrornews.net has a bit more info on Annabelle: Creation
Wanting to see The Void? Read this review from The Ithacan first
Shannon Doherty does horror?! Fangoria interviews her about Bethany, her upcoming horror flick.

Interview with Phoenix Forgotten Director Justin Barber

 

Movie Cover for Phoenix Forgotten

Phoenix Forgotten: 20 years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction

Starring:  Florence Hartigan, Luke Spencer Roberts, Chelsea Lopez

Release Date: April 21st, 2017

Runtime: 80 minutes


Recently I had a chance to prescreen Phoenix Forgotten and then talk with the director, Justin Barber, about his experiences making the film. He gave some interesting answers, and I enjoyed getting to know a bit of the behind the scenes details. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Interview with Phoenix Forgotten Director Justin Barber

Sci- Fi & Scary (S&S): I noticed that T.S. Nowlin has a Thanks credit listed for Medicine for Melancholy, a film that you produced. Now, the two of you share writing credit for Phoenix Forgotten. How did you come together for this film?

Justin Barber (JB):TS and I were in the same film school class at Florida State, along with Barry Jenkins who directed Medicine for Melancholy (and later, the Oscar-winner Moonlight).  At the time, I had put all the money I had into the production of that movie, and was living on TS’s couch in Los Angeles.Around that time, my day-job was as a graphics and VFX artist working with Wes Ball, a producer on Phoenix Forgotten, and another FSU alum.  We all just ended up hanging out a lot, seeing movies together, talking about the things we wanted to make, and this project grew organically out of those experiences.

Around that time, my day-job was as a graphics and VFX artist working with Wes Ball, a producer on Phoenix Forgotten, and another FSU alum.  We all just ended up hanging out a lot, seeing movies together, talking about the things we wanted to make, and this project grew organically out of those experiences.

 

S&S: You have mostly Producer credits to your name, bar directing the short Leaving Baghdad (which you also had writing credit on). What was it like moving from producer to directing a full-length film in Phoenix Forgotten?

JB: As a producer on small movies I had to be very focused on the logistics of the shoot, the realities of the production, and that eventually boxes in the creative ideas in the show.  It was hard at first to let go of that and just focus on imagining the best sand castle I could, irrespective of the sandbox I was playing in.

Ultimately being a director is more fun but I have this lady on my crew Aggie who is my costume designer – she has been around, did costumes back in the day for big movies like Beetlejuice and The Color Purple – she says producers always have the best wives so take that as you will.

S&S: Why did you make the switch from producer to director? Do you think you’ll swing back and forth or is this the direction you permanently want to head in?

JB: I just want to work with talented people, and help them get their visions made.  Yes, I have my own stories to tell, but if I could help the next Barry Jenkins get his/her work out there – that’s important to me.  And ultimately all directors end up producing on their own shows somehow.  Orsen Wells not only directed and starred in Citizen Kane, he also produced – crazy!

 

S&S: Did you learn anything unexpected from your feature-length debut?

JB: I learned a lot about the desert, about how to search for missing kids, but specifically regarding the craft of filmmaking this was a lesson is seeing the forest for the trees.  Before making this movie I had directed a lot of commercials, and in that field you become hyper-focused on details – handfuls of individual frames.  But the director on a feature needs to be able to sit back and keep the overall experience for the audience in his mind.

 

S&S: Given that you have a bit of Star Trek on your CV, and the subject of Phoenix Forgotten, one must ask… Do you truly believe in the existence of aliens?

JB: I haven’t seen enough hard evidence to hang a belief on.  To quote X-Files, I WANT to believe they’re out there, but I’m waiting to be convinced.

I enjoy reading about the Drake Equation and the movie Contact hits on it – the idea that the universe is so big and so old and we know there must be X amount of habitable worlds out there…  But on the other hand, there are the issues in the Fermi Paradox – if that’s the case ‘Where are they?’ as Fermi himself said.  Did they all blow themselves up with nuclear weapons before they could call us?A lot of people say that aliens have visited them, but with how little we understand the human mind it could be just as likely these people are having some sort of collective psychological experience, or are just crazy.  At the end of the day, the photographic evidence doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny IMHO.

A lot of people say that aliens have visited them, but with how little we understand the human mind it could be just as likely these people are having some sort of collective psychological experience, or are just crazy.  At the end of the day, the photographic evidence doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny IMHO.

 

S&S: Was it intimidating, helpful (or both) having Sir Ridley Scott attached to the film as producer?

JB:  It’s only intimidating when you throw his knighthood around like that.  Otherwise, he’s a really lovely, insightful man.  He wasn’t on set day-to-day, but he did offer his advice and the producers at Scott Free were very supportive.  Myself, the cast and crew, we were all just motivated to make something that was of the quality of his own work.  We were all really driven to make something that he would like and sign off on.

 

S&S:  How long did Phoenix Forgotten take to film from pre-production to finished film?

JB: We shot and edited the movie together over time.  We started shooting in December 2015.  We shot for about four weeks, then we worked on a rough-cut.  Once we had that, we shot for one more week, filling in some holes, and then at that point we had a cut that we all felt could work and moved towards finishing the movie.  We shot a day or two here and there after that, getting odds and ends and VFX plates, and really only put the finishing touches on the movie a few weeks ago.

 

S&S: Phoenix Forgotten has a strong found footage element.  Many people feel that this particular style has hit its saturation point. Do you think this will work against you with Phoenix Forgotten’s general reception?

JB: That was definitely something we were mindful of, but the found footage device works particularly well for this story, for these characters.  It’s about a kid who films a UFO sighting, and then catches the bug – he sets out to investigate what it was and film it again.  So the camera is a part of the quest here in a way it wouldn’t be in a movie about time travel or something else.  It’s particularly suited for this story.

And then also the first half of the movie is more in the style of a cinematic documentary, like Making of a Murderer, or any Errol Morris or Werner Herzog film.  So it’s not shaky-cam from start to finish, it’s a mix of styles that’s justified by the story.

 

S&S: Many of your credits on IMDB are documentary associated, even if you weren’t attached as producer or director. What draws you to working on these types of films?

JB: When I was in high school I wanted to be a journalist.  I just gravitated towards writing and graphic design, I liked getting out into the world and discovering things.  And then the first Matrix came out, and that pointed me towards Hollywood from then on.  But even when it comes to fiction I have a journalistic approach, I do a lot of research and I find real-world models for fictional characters.  Not sure why that’s the case, it’s just my process.  As they say, truth can be stranger than fiction.

 

S&S: Do you think you’ll work with any of the crew members (be they cast or otherwise) in the future?

JB:  I was very blessed to have such a talented bunch of weirdos forming my cast.  Truly, they brought so much to the movie in terms of creativity and hard work.  If enough of your readers see the movie, I would be happy to make a sequel and continue their story! I was very blessed to have such a talented bunch of weirdos forming my cast.  Truly, they brought so much to the movie in terms of creativity and hard work.  If enough of your readers see the movie, I would be happy to make a sequel and continue their story!

 

S&S: What excites you about Phoenix Forgotten?

JB: In a lot of ways it’s auto-biographical.  I was into all this UFO shit when I was Josh’s age, and if I had filmed a UFO myself, and my footage appeared on the news, I would be as excited as he is in the movie, and would have pursued the lights in the same way he does.  What these three kids experience is exciting, and I hope the audience shares that!

 

S&S:  Do you have any projects in the hopper now?

JB: None that are far enough along to discuss, unfortunately.  BUT I hope you’ll hear from me again soon!

Featurette! Sir Ridley Scott Speaks on Phoenix Forgotten

Several of you expressed interest in seeing Phoenix Forgotten after I posted about it on Sci-Fi & Scary last week. Well, I’m happy to bring you a bit more information about the movie. This time you get to hear about it straight from the mouth of Ridley Scott himself!

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN was produced by RIDLEY SCOTT (The Martian, Alien, Blade Runner), WES BALL (The Maze Runner franchise) and T.S. NOWLIN (Pacific Rim: Uprising, The Maze Runner franchise) who also co-wrote the film. JUSTIN BARBER co-writes and directs in his feature film debut.

Movie Cover for Phoenix Forgotten

Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights”, and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…

 

What do you guys think about Phoenix Forgotten after watching this featurette?

Click here to see the original post on Sci-Fi & Scary and watch the trailer!

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