Thursday, May 19, 2016

Anna (Short Horror Film, 2014)

Over the years I have developed the habit of catching up on the latest, greatest, and goriest in the horror world by watching trailers and short films while on my bus ride into the office in the mornings.

We're talking like, oh, 6:30 AM morning.

And the buses have become more crowded as our city swells.

And I thought it was a good idea to buy a smart phone with a Gigantic screen...

I was recently contacted by Matthew of the Forte brother duo, Matthew and Kevin. Matthew asked if I could take a look at two of their works from the Forte Films Entertainment company. Happy to do so, I proceeded to watch their 2014 short film, Anna. At 6:30 in the morning. In a standing room only bus. With my large-screened phone.

Now, I have absolutely no problem plugging in the headphones and watching gut-wrenching gory films at 6:30 in the morning. But I am sensitive to the fact that my morning commuter companions might not be so interested. Especially if roughly five of them are squished up beside me and have no choice because the bus is so full they can't even move their heads. This short horror film is in fact the very first one I had to turn off while on my morning commute.

This short is jam packed with BRUTAL. I could not expose my unsuspecting traveling companions to this (jumping to conclusions that they are not all horror fans). But the fact that I did this - abruptly and almost apologetically turning off the phone, quite possibly making a big deal out of it due to a lack of space - stuck with me for days. Days.

Later I watched the full film in the comfort of my own home. And STILL this film will stick with me for days, years, a lifetime. Reason being is that this short is not only full of Not Morning Commute Suitable gore (to be honest, even I was a bit shocked at what I saw that morning), but also because the story line is riddled with heart breaking social commentary. Devastating, painful, real, honestly brutal social commentary.

This short is about a zombie with an eating disorder.

I wonder still if viewers will chuckle a little at that statement. But the film is not funny, nor the social commentary behind it. And although this plot line is the backbone to the story, the rest of the short is inundated with all the various issues tied to eating disorders and other terrors facing so many people. Such as heart break, loneliness, insecurity, self identity, depression, and the list goes on.


But I love how horror movies - full length and short - can bring all that right to the surface. Where it needs to be. Horrifying that it is.

I encourage you to watch this film. However! Please note that it addresses many aspects of human complexity that can be hard for some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Now, Anna is not the only thing I saw from the Forte Films Entertainment company! I also watched the pilot for their new project The Sin Reapers. This takes an entirely different tone than Anna, and frankly I wanted to keep this plug dedicated mostly to Anna because it's a complete film where as The Sin Reapers is web series still in the works.

This series is focused on the spirits of the dead seeking out the assistance of 'sin reapers' who bring justice for the untimely deaths of the innocent. Great Idea! Really great idea!

This one is an interesting endeavor to check out, and it appears to me that The Sin Reapers is in it's beginning stages. But it's going places, folks. Particularly if the innovative rawness and brutality that was attached to Anna is brought here. I see some aspects where it was applied but it still felt as if something was held back. What that something is/was I'm still struggling with. Perhaps I simply didn't feel uncomfortable enough? I was certainly uncomfortable at points.

The Sin Reapers can and should take off. It's received a lot of positive attention and I understand why. Strong premise, original, effective use of space and lighting, but the limits I felt here can and I think should be crossed. No doubt the Forte brothers know how to do this. Lastly, and I can't quite let this go, the ghostly face make-up did not fool me. The sin reapers' make-up on the other hand was excellent.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, check out the first episode of the The Sin Reapers here:

Go get'em you guys. You  have a great short film here and the makings of a very chilling series. I look forward to seeing more!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Green Room (2015)

It's taken me over a week to type up a review for Green Room. I struggled with where to start, what to focus on. That is until I accepted the fact that I'll probably just word vomit and swear a little on this one. In any case, here we go!

First and foremost, this is a goretastic horror film! Absolutely cringe-inducing madness. If it's not already enough horror having dumb ass skinheads running amok, there are dogs here too. Very very very bad dogs.

Premise: A punk band finds they're playing at the wrong show, man. The very wrong show.

There are things about this movie that really tugged at my heart strings though, believe it or not. It takes place in the Pacific Northwest, remote Oregon. As a fellow Pacific Northwesterner this brought out my I Love Camping Here feels.  Additionally, I spent the better part of my 20's going to way too many music shows, traveling with my lead singer boyfriend at the time, and hanging out in nasty, sweaty green rooms. There I was pretty much doing nothing but drinking PBR and getting in the way of band members just trying to get their gear in the door. Such fond, fond memories.

But I've grown up now, preferring to stay home on weekend nights plotting the next couch fort, changed my beers from PBR to fancy pants independent brewery IPAs, and married another musical man who routinely plays Youth of Today, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, and lost his toenail in a mosh pit a couple years back. In all, watching this film brought out smiles in me where I really did not expect them. Not with this film.

Which brings me to where the smiles stopped and a the EEEGADS began. I saw a news clip where Patrick Stewart, who plays a very very very scary dude in this film, said that as he was reading the script he had to stop and pour himself a glass of whiskey in order to resume. I knew this before going into the film - which is a little bit why my brother and I chose to watch Green Room at the local Sundance theater (you can drink there).

As the superb tension began to mount, I turned to my brother and said, "I'm getting another beer. You need another beer to. I'm getting us both another beer right now." The timing was perfect.

There are visuals here that will likely stick with you for a long time. They are shocking and downright a bloody mess. Excellent horror. This movie is insane, the people are insane, the killings are insane, and in all you'll likely walk out of the theater with a cold feeling.

Green Room is a very smart, sharp, and disturbing film. Not only disturbing because of the nature of the film, but also because people like this exist in the real world - making this place worse because of their existence. I'm looking at you white supremacists, you can fuck right the fuck off.

Recommended pairing: PBR and hold on tight.

I'm not sure of this movie is still in theaters, but if it is where you are then I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen for the full Terror experience. Or use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this feature when it becomes available.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Peelers (2016)


06/15/2017: Update Update! Look for new DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD release details at the end of this post


I have some very exciting news, everyone!

Director Sevé Schelenz contacted me recently with a press release for his latest film: Peelers.

This Vancouver, BC independent feature will have it's Canadian premiere at Shock Stock Film Festival in London, Ontario on May 27th - 29th.


The makers of the Independent Cult Horror Feature SKEW (2011) step it up a bloody notch as they continue their amazing festival run with follow-up horror flick PEELERS.

PEELERS - What starts out as the last hurrah on the closing night of an infamous smalltown strip club, quickly turns into a night of bloodshed when a crew of coal miners shows up and with them a deadly contaminant. Former baseball player and current club owner, Blue Jean Douglas has decided to hand over her bar to a new owner and leave town for good. But Blue Jean’s plans are thwarted when she discovers the magnitude of the epidemic that has been unleashed. With victims piling up, Blue Jean must step up to the plate to protect her family, her friends, and her bar before it's too late and she loses everything she holds dear.

PEELERS destroys the cliché stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talents and a strong female lead. What’s being described as “Rodriguez meets Tarantino” and “Not just a great indie film, but destined to be one of the funnest films of 2016”, has Director/Producer Sevé Schelenz pretty stoked about giving genre fans a whole new ball game of horror.

How Awesome Does This Sound? It Sounds SUPER AWESOME!

In April of this year, Peelers made it's world debut at the Palm Beach International Film Festival where it was also nominated for Best Horror Film. Just a month later the film festival screening list continues to get longer. Check out if Peelers is coming to a film festival near you here.

Now my pretties, check out this teaser trailer!

I'm very excited for this film and I look forward to providing a full review. I'll let you all know when I do!

In the mean time, and to learn more about this film, please check out their WebsiteFacebook page, and their Twitter.  

DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD Release Information

Sevé and team has just informed me of their latest news!

"...after an amazing festival run Peelers will be hitting DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S. on July 4th (Independence Film Day!!) and VOD in Canada on July 11th!!"

As of March 2017, Peelers is available VOD in the US through YouTube, iTunes, Amazon video, Vudu, and Google Play!

Media Release:

US DVD/BLU-RAY – July 4, 2017 (from Uncork’d Entertainment) 
CANADIAN VOD – July 11, 2017 (from levelFILM) 

Get ready to own all the never-before-seen spine-tingling EXTRAS on the US DVD & Blu-ray including Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, Digital Comic, Script To Scene, Director and Actor Commentaries and much more!


Thank you for sharing this news with Horror Habit, Sevé Schelenz! Best of luck to you and the team!