Monday, October 22, 2012

"The Shining" DVD giveaway

Hello boys and girls!  As you have probably read, I will be giving away a DVD copy of "The Shining" (1980) to one of you lucky readers.  Here's how you can register to win:

-In "The Shining," Jack's son Danny has an invisible friend that plays a large part in his supernatural gift.  What is the name of this invisible friend?

Send your answer to and I will randomly choose a winner from the first ten people to respond correctly.  The winner must be a follower of The Dread Shed on blogger (this can be done with your Google ID).  Good luck!!!

*Winner must reside in the continental United States.  The Dread Shed is not responsible for merchandise that may turn out to be defective.  One unopened DVD will be provided free of charge by mail to winner.

"Sinister" (2012)

The concept of “found footage”--films based around footage supposedly discovered and viewed by some party to help them piece together the horrific events that transpired--is a crapshoot when used in movies. When well-utilized as an effective device to further a solid plot, found footage can produce stark terror as well as unbearable tension. This is evidenced in such flicks as “Rec” and “Rec 2,” “Cannibal Holocuast,” and the original “Blair Witch Project.” When used merely as a gimmick to produce jump scares, we are provided with complete shit-storms like “Quarantine” (which awkwardly molests the stellar plot of the original “Rec”) and the unbelievably awful “Paranormal Activity 4.” “Sinister” is one of the latest in a long line of Hollywood’s love-affair with this film trend.

 Ethan Hawke stars as Ellison Oswalt, a washed-up true crime writer that hasn’t had a bestseller in a decade, wants to cry about it, and just knows that his next book is going to put him back on top. He exhibits the pathologically-dickheaded habit of moving his innocent family to the towns in which these crimes occurred, presumably because he aspires to reach the literary equivalent of De Niro’s experiential, bat-shit insanity. Never mind that his children are subjected to relentless ridicule by their classmates and his wife can’t drive across town without getting pulled over and harassed (turns out local cops don’t like nosy authors attempting to illuminate investigative fuck-ups), Ellison’s gonna get his 15 more minutes! To this end, he surpasses each of his previous attempts to fuck his family by moving them, without their knowledge, directly into the home in which four family members were hung from a tree in the backyard.

 Trouble begins when our protagonist finds a box in the attic containing a Super 8 projector (that he conveniently and inexplicably knows how to operate) and several short films with such innocent titles as “pool party” and “family barbecue.” The films span over four decades and each depicts some of the most gritty, sobering snuff scenes this side of “8 Millimeter,” including the self-explanatory and latest offering, “hanging out in the yard.” From here Oswalt sets up a control room that rivals anything over at Quantico and commences to investigate the mystery’s origins.

 Hawke turns in a competent performance as a man both possessed and obsessed, spiraling quickly into a maelstrom of malevolent paganism and intense paranoia, becoming increasingly distanced from his family and the rest of reality in the process (constantly toting around a bottle doesn’t help much.) Assisted in his search by a small-town deputy and a sadly-underutilized but always awesome Vincent D’Onofrio (playing a college professor well-versed in the occult), Ellison slowly unravels the riddle at the risk of his own sanity. 

While Hawke’s performance shoulders most of the heavy-lifting, the real star of this one is the found footage itself. With their active revelations upon successive viewings and chillingly indelible images, the films are just as much a character presence as the Overlook Hotel (“The Shining”) and the Danvers State Mental Hospital (“Session 9”). Director Scott Derrickson (of such films as “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and the oddly alluring “Hellraiser: Inferno) follows the lead of “Seven” in showing just enough to leave something to the imagination and keeping the movie from devolving into shameless exploitation. This unusual show of restraint in large part makes for a solid and not-too-predictable thriller. This one also receives points for not slicing off its own testicles with a safe and impotent ending (two male genitalia references in one sentence)!!!!

 The bottom line: This one is worth checking out and is definitely in the better half of recent horror releases. As usual, see in a theater for full effect.

 Rating: 3 out of 5 pagan demons.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Bonjour people!! I've missed you. I'm watching more flicks than ever and figured it would be rude to deprive you of my witty interpretations. It's been a great time for horror since I've last posted with several stellar films to discuss. As usual I will review movies new and old, provide trivia tidbits, and present feature articles. Your homework?? Tell me in which "Friday the 13th" installment Jason first donned his trademark goalie's mask?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Jeepers Creepers" (2001)

“Jeepers Creepers” is, beneath the surface, an oddly brilliant flick. Not because of the storyline (which is shit); the acting (which is horse-shit); the character development (which is non-existent); the clever comments comparing occurring events to those in a horror movie (which are shitty cliches); or, the fucktarded “psychic” that shows up out of nowhere and happens to be able to explain approximately one-tenth of the shit that’s happening. What makes this movie special is the fact that, in spite of being terrible in nearly every other way, it manages to deliver on atmosphere alone. Sure, the Creeper sort of resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon with wings and a skullet, but his M.O. of performing vivisection on unsuspecting people in order to eat their body parts makes him eerily interesting. Plus, the way he likes to sniff decapitated heads and Justin Long’s dirty laundry is ultra-creepy. The whole “cat lady” sequence is pleasantly disturbing, from our antagonist posing as a scarecrow to him making the crazy old bitch “float” out towards the door. More props for the oddly sewn-together, patchwork corpses and the “cathedral” of human remains that would make Ed Gein and Buffalo Bill proud. Toss in the dodging of a predictable, cop-out ending and you have something that’s more than merely palatable. Big style points for this one, even with the aforementioned flaws. Not a total waste of your time, and better than some of the drivel that’s been passed off as horror in the past few years.

Rating: 3 out of 5 bloody scalpels.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Who wants some more???

Considering a return if I can devote the time and generate some interest. I haven't posted in a year and a half, but my love for all things horror is stronger than ever and I still average 3-4 movies a week. New reviews and features to follow!!!
Your faithful servant

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jennifer's Body

Okay, so who's not excited about the upcoming "Jennifer's Body"? True, it likely won't be hardcore horror, but one of the hottest screenwriters (Diablo Cody) and likely the hottest chick (Megan Fox)? This one's a no-brainer!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Terror Trivia Tidbit

Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department on "Halloween" (1978) had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes.