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This Week in Horror: Jared Leto morphs into Morbius, Sabrina goes to hell, Terror Threads gets groovy, 3 From Hell screams onto Shudder, and more!

Last week’s News section got a great reception, and we’re horrifyingly happy you liked reading our take on horror happenings. Today, we’ve got lots more thrills and chills to bring you, so stay in the loop while we spill the blood of this week’s Horror Headlines.

FANTASY ISLAND (RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2020)

Blumhouse’s version of Fantasy Island isn’t exactly like the story it’s based on, the television show of the same name that aired from 1977 to 1984. The story focuses on Mr. Roark, your host that welcomes you to a beautiful island where you can have an amazing life, but, as with most things that sound too good to be true, there is some fine print involved. What happens when your tropical island dreams turn into the scariest nightmares? You may be headed for a permanent vacation, and not the good kind. Fans of the show will likely notice that this Jeff Wadlow-directed version of Fantasy Island is missing one crucial component that made the series a success – Mr. Roark’s diminutive assistant, Tattoo. The movie stars Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, and Michael Pena. Embark for Fantasy Island on Valentine’s Day!

DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL (RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2020)

Disappearance at Clifton Hill stars Tuppence Middleton (Downton Abbey) who comes back to her hometown of Niagara Falls and her family’s business, a run-down, decrepit motel, once her mother passes away. Being there reminds the already troubled Abby of a horror she witnessed 25 years ago: the abduction of a young child. She never quite got over wondering what happened that day and decides to get to the bottom of the mystery in this moody, dark, and creepy film. She’s tackling personal demons as well as the monsters of real life as the lines between reality and fantasy blur and Abby unlocks the Falls’ buried secrets. Filled with twists and turns, this is a nightmarish psychological thriller that promises haunting unease.

GUNS AKIMBO (RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2020)

We mentioned this one last week, but now there’s an official trailer we can share! Daniel Radcliffe (The Harry Potter films) is seen in a new light in this fast-paced, thrilling, sci-fi action flick that puts Radcliffe’s character, Miles, in a situation he thought he’d never be in as a nerdy, bored video game developer. Miles sort of, accidentally ends up right in the middle of a live-streaming, gladiator-style death match that’s actually not a game – it’s reality. Though Miles may try to run, once he comes up against Nix (Samara Weaving, The Babysitter) who is a champ at the sport, he may find he’s out of options. This dark comedy from the same director who brought us the hilarious Deathgasm (Jason Lei Howden), promises an action-packed adventure with a dash of romance thrown in. We’re there just to see Harry Potter with guns. Everything else is gravy!

LOST GIRLS (RELEASE DATE: March 13, 2020)

Shannan Gilbert is a 24-year-old who goes missing one night. As her mother Mari (Oscar winner Amy Ryan) stops at nothing to find her daughter, she falls down a rabbit hole that leads her to facts about her daughter that may be hard to face as well as puts her in the midst of a number of unsolved murders. Mari goes up against the police and the media as she goes on a journey of self-discovery during her search for truth and realizes there’s a bigger societal problem than just missing sex workers. Will she find Shannan? Tune into the Netflix original, Lost Girls, to find out. Inspired by the best-selling true crime book by Robert Kolker and directed by Oscar winner Liz Garbus, Lost Girls is based on the real-life murders, and this is one spooky serial killer story that may keep you awake at night. The crimes portrayed in the film are still being investigated, adding extra chills to this slasher saga – yes, the killer is still out there (you may want to watch with the lights on).

MORBIUS (RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2020)

Jared Leto is an Oscar winner who has proven he can transform himself into all kinds of characters, and this time, he’s tackling the title character in Morbius, a film that focuses on a Marvel antihero with a bloody backstory. Michael Morbius is a genius, Nobel-awarded chemist who attempts to cure his own blood illness with an injection that instead turns him into a vampire. Morbius is part of the Spider-Verse, having been a friend as well as an enemy of Spider-Man throughout his appearances in the comics. How will Leto handle the transition from Joker to vampire? We can’t wait to see how this dark film turns out, and with the reputation of MCU movies, there are high expectations at stake. With the success of Venom (2018), expect to see more Marvel movies that focus on other characters from the Spider-Verse.

Indie On Demand

PARASITE (RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2020)

Parasite garnered stellar reviews from both critics and fans alike. This Korean “black fairytale” won the coveted Palme d’Or award at Cannes. Parasite has also made Academy Award history as the first Korean movie to score nominations for Best Foreign Film, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and a Best Director nod for Bong Joon Ho. Described as a black comedy suspense thriller, this movie unravels the story of the upper-class Park family and their symbiotic relationship with the lower-class Kim clan. What some say is a commentary on social classes is one of the sharpest, most cleverly written films of the year. Catch this dramatic, symbolic, satirical story that defies genre on-demand and Blu-ray if you missed it at the theater, or rewatch this completely compelling movie again to brush up on your Oscar bets.

Click here for our complete indie release calendar. 

Horror Happenings

FANTASTIC FEST PRESENTS (FIRST EVENT: February 3, 2020)

Based in Austin, the Alamo Drafthouse is known for its love and support of horror films and frequently hosts events surrounding everything from big-name movies to lesser known genre gems. Now, in conjunction with the city’s Fantastic Fest film festival, a new series is spawned called Fantastic Fest Presents. They’ll bring horror movies to Alamo Drafthouse audiences boosted with bonuses like livestream Q&A sessions, visits from the stars of the films, and added movie extras. Fantastic Fest intends to take the films from their festival on a journey from debut to commercial release with special screenings around the country. The first film you can see is Come to Daddy starring Elijah Wood, who will be on hand at the LA location in an interview live-streamed to attendees in every city. Learn more and purchase tickets.

SXSW (March 13-22, 2020)

South by Southwest (SXSW), now in its 27th year, combines music, film, and interactive media to bring audiences a week-and-a-half of events that include concerts, conferences, and film festivals in Austin, Texas. You can catch 102 feature films and episodics, including a horror doc called Cursed Films that dives into the subject of some rumored cursed horror movie productions. Learn more: https://www.sxsw.com.

TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND (May 1-3, 2020)

The poster art has been revealed for Texas Frightmare Weekend 2020, the 15th year of the much-loved horror convention in Dallas, Texas. Artist Timothy Pittides, who also designed this year’s T-shirt, created this absolutely stunning art print that measures 20 inches by 30 inches and is printed on Wild Cherry Red paper. You’ll have to grab yours fast because they’re limited edition, and only 130 are being printed up! Go ahead and preorder your hand-numbered poster now and get Pittides to sign it for you at the convention before you get it framed: https://purchase.growtix.com/eh/Texas_Frightmare_Weekend/30844/289219.

CINEPOCALYPSE (June 4-7, 2020)

Brief Intro: The annual horror genre in Chicago brings a new Senior Programmer on board for 2020. Previously a senior writer for A.V. Club, Katie Rife joins the fourth year of this festival produced by the legendary Music Box Theatre. Attendees will be treated to a jam-packed schedule of movies and other events. Cinepocalypse was named one of the top genre festivals by MovieMaker magazine, and you can submit features and short films via FilmFreeway. Get your badge to enjoy a weekend of film this summer at the festival that’s seen films like Glenn Danzig’s Verotika and events like the very first public screening of Tammy and the T-Rex. You don’t want to miss what they’ll have to offer this year! Learn More: https://cinepocalypsefestival.com.

Streaming Suggestions

TAMMY AND THE T-REX (NOW SHOWING)

Upon its original release in 1994, Tammy and the T-Rex, starring Denise Richards (Wild Things), was clawed apart by censors. The film is now restored to its full glory and currently available for streaming on Shudder. The story about a mad scientist who puts the brain of a dead teenager inside of an animatronic dinosaur is just as crazy as it sounds, and the full film brings you all the decapitations and dinosaur gore you never knew you needed. Meant to pretty much decimate your senses, this Vinegar Syndrome flick is filled with practical effects brought to you by the wizardry of John Carl. Called everything from “totally bananas” to “completely insane,” this movie was horror’s homage to Jurassic Park. This will be the first time audiences will get to see every bloody bite. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, SEASON THREE (RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2020)

Fans have been dying to get into hell with Sabrina since season two ended last year. Finally, it’s almost time for Netflix to drop season three of its popular streaming series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Human/witch hybrid Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) picks up where the season two finale left off, with Sabrina’s hot boyfriend Nick becoming a vessel for the Dark Lord. What will Sabrina have to sacrifice to save him? From the spooky-cute music video trailer we got this week, it looks like Sabrina will be dancing her way to claim the throne down below to face off against the Prince of Hell and get her beloved boyfriend back. This season looks darker and even more entertaining. Hail Satan with all of us exclusively on Netflix this week!

3 FROM HELL (RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2020)

The long-awaited sequel to The Devil’s Reject’s (2005), director Rob Zombie’s story of the Firefly clan on the run, 3 From Hell picks up with Captain Spaulding, Baby, and Otis in prison. Richard Brake (31) and Jeff Daniel Phillips also star in the saga of the Fireflies as they slash their way to Mexico in order to evade capture. It’s bittersweet seeing Haig for the last time on screen, but this installment promises just as much blood as the last two chapters of this trilogy. Stream it exclusively on Shudder, where you can also catch a refresher ahead of its release with The Devil’s Rejects, also available on the platform.

TRUE TERROR WITH ROBERT ENGLUND (RELEASE DATE: MARCH 18, 2020)

Horror icon Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) brings us a six-part series on the Travel Channel that focuses on real-life horror from our past history. Englund’s narration will be woven in with commentary from experts and historians as he relays some of the most terrifying tales hidden in our headlines, all based on true reports. Dive into this documentary-style series on March 18, 2020 on Travel Channel.

PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS (RELEASE DATE: APRIL 26, 2020)

Penny Dreadful takes a twist as the time period and location changes from 19th century London to Los Angeles in the 1930s. Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) plays a shape-shifting demon in the supernatural series that is heavy on Mexican-American themes. The characters will all be brand-new, and focus on those who worship Santa Muerte, a Mexican deity, vs. devil worshippers along with other themes central to the time period as they relay to the occult and supernatural. Check out this spooky series when it premieres on Showtime April 26, 2020.

Killer Stuff

Evil Dead 2 Tees

Get your chainsaw, er, hands, on the new line of Evil Dead 2 tees on Terror Threads. With artwork by Sam Coyne and Mister Black, these designs are up for preorder, and the officially licensed apparel has amazing artwork that really pops. Who said Deadites weren’t fashionable? Scare up some new shirts for yourself and grab some restocks on tees you may have missed. Luckily, there are no magic words needed. Get yours now: https://terrorthreads.com/collections/evil-dead-2.

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORT FILMS

We’re here to give short films some love, and shorts are some of the best and most creative forays into film available. This year, we want to share the list of 2020 Academy Award nominees for Best Short Film. Take a look and see which one you think will grab the gold.

SECRET SHAME: DARK SYNTHETICS

You may have read about them in our Now Hear This column, and you’ll definitely be hearing more about Secret Shame, a punk group based out of North Carolina. Voted by our writer Kirby Kellogg as best debut of 2019, Secret Shame will release Dark Synthetics on vinyl along with a bonus remix album. Listen to the album and the Haunter remix and preorder your own copy via Secret Shame’s Bandcamp page.

Buzzworthy Bites

From Slipknot to Savini

Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor may have a new title to add to his resume: horror writer and director. The talented frontman has written his first horror film and plans to be behind the camera, too. He went for the big guns and hired Tom Savini and his team to collaborate on special effects. There are no details yet as of the plot, but we’ll keep you up to date. Did you know Savini’s team created one of Taylor’s iconic masks? We can’t wait to see what these creative minds have in store for gore fans!

Stay tuned for more news as it develops. 

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