Film: The Void

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Despite the fact that 2017 is shaping up to be a depressingly lackluster year for film, there are still a few movies that have me excited, and one of those films is the new horror film The Void.

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From directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, The Void is undeniably steeped in 80’s vibe, and immediately evokes H.P. Lovecraft, John Carpenter’s The ThingHalloween 2, and other great fantasy sci-fi horror films of the era, like Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Phantasm, and From Beyond, but it is very clear that The Void is not just a superficial retro nostalgia piece.

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Kostanski and Gillespie are part of the Astron-6 collective, a Canadian film production company known for 80’s-style, horror-comedy B-movies. Gillespie recently worked as assistant art director for Suicide Squad, and the new upcoming It remake. Kostanski was a make-up effects techinican for Crimson Peak, and special make-up effects artist on Suicide Squad and It.

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It is apparent from the teaser and trailers that The Void has great mood, tension, lighting, practical horror FX, and is truly scary and unsettling, all elements that are sorely lacking in most modern horror movies, so I am eagerly awaiting this film.

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The Void hits theaters on March 31, Digital HD on April 7, and DVD and Blu-ray on April 24. There is also an Our Screen page to set up a screening of The Void in your area.

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The Void
1h 30min  | Horror | 7 April 2017 (USA)
Directed by: Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski
Signature Entertainment

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Cinema Obscura’s Curated Guide to the Best Halloween Movies Streaming

It’s October 1st, which means our annual month long Halloween movie marathon is about to kick off tonight.

This year I decided I would make curated lists of the best Halloween movies on the top 3 streaming platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. And as a bonus, I’ve added a list of 5 Halloween movies you can stream free on Crackle!

I have included horror classics as well as some more recent scary films that are sure to add to your Halloween horror movie marathon repertoire. If you want to view a trailer for a film, just click on the title.

I hope this guide enhances your Halloween streaming!

 

Cinema Obscura’s Guide to the Best Halloween Movies Streaming

Netflix:

The Babadook (2014) Jennifer Kent
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Robert Rodriguez
The Invitation  (2015) Karyn Kusama
John Dies at the End (2012) Don Coscarelli
Nightbreed (1990) Clive Barker
Re-Animator (1985) Stuart Gordon
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) Adam Robitel
VHS (2012) (Anthology, see IMDb)
We Are Still Here (2015) Ted Geoghan
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) Wes Craven

Amazon Prime:

An American Werewolf in London (1981) John Landis
Carrie (1976) Brian De Palma
Goodnight Mommy (2014) Severin Fiala, Veronica Franz
Let The Right One in (2008) Tomas Alfredson
The Mist (2007) Frank Darabont
Night of the Living Dead (Digitally Remastered) (1968) George Romero
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Roman Polanski
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Under The Skin (2013) Johnathan Glaser
The Witch (2015) Robert Eggers

Hulu Plus:

The Amityville Horror (1979) Stuart Rosenberg
Day of the Dead (1985) George Romero
Hellbound: Hellraiser II 
(1988) Tony Randel
Hellraiser (1987) Clive Barker
The Hills Have Eyes (1977) Wes Craven
House of the Devil (2009) Ti West
The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1978) Phillip Kaufman
The Others (2001)  Alejandro Amenábar
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Tobe Hooper

Crackle:

The Blob (1988) Chuck Russell
Christine (1983) John Carpenter
Insidious (2010) James Wan
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) Tobe Hooper
The Thing (1982) John Carpenter

 

Netflix Review: We Are Still Here (2015) Ted Geoghegan

I was eager to check out the 2015 indie horror film We Are Still Here despite some negative reviews and low ratings, and I was pleasantly surprised. We Are Still Here is a solid modern horror film that is dark, creepy, minimal, and a step above the majority of the newer horror titles currently streaming on Netflix.

We Are Still Here immediately establishes a creepy mood and builds the feeling of dread throughout the film. Director Ted Geoghegan did a lot with a little. It is nicely shot and a very simple but effective New England horror film that doesn’t explain too much and keeps thing ambiguous, which only lends to the creepiness.

Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) gives a great performance as Anne Sacchetti, the grieving main character, and the supporting cast is simple but effective. The house is very creepy with an equally terrifying cellar, and the monster design is effective, fresh, and original.

Though there are some subtle digital effects on the monsters, the horror FX were virtually all in camera, which was another positive aspect of this film. No horrible obvious CGI to take you out of the film. The simple, practical approach to the monsters really kept the supernatural horror rooted in reality.

We Are Still Here is a simple, creepy modern horror film made with the influence of the great 70’s and 80’s horror classics, and is a solid choice if you are looking for a decent new creepy horror film on Netflix.

Netflix Review: We Are Still Here (2015) Ted Geoghegan Rating: 3-5

Cinema Obscura’s 2016 New England Drive-In Theater Directory

Conneticut:
Mansfield Drive-In Theatre: Mansfield Center, CT
Pleasant Valley Drive-In: Barkhamstead, CT
Southington Drive-In Theatre: Plantsville, CT


Maine:
Prides Corner Drive-In: Westbrook. ME
Skowhegan Drive-In: Skowhegan, ME
Skylite Drive-In: Madawaska, ME

 

Massachusetts:
Mendon Drive-In: Mendon, MA
Leiscester Triple Drive-In Theatre: Leicester, MA
Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre: Wellfleet, MA


New Hamphire:

Milford Drive-In: Milford, NH
Northfield Drive-In: Hinsdale, NH
Northern Nights Drive-In: Lancaster, NH
Weirs Drive-In Theater: Laconia, NH


Rhode Island:

Misquamicut Drive-In Theater: Westerly, RI
Rustic Drive-In Theatre: North Smithfield, RI


Vermont:

Fairlee Drive-In: Fairlee, VT
Sunset Drive-In: Colchester, VT

Keeping Our 35 Millimeter Dreams Alive: The Mahoning Drive-In Theater

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With the growing scarcity of 35mm prints and mounting pressure from Hollywood studios to convert to digital projection, most movie theaters across the country have been forced to embrace the digital age and shed their 35mm film projectors for their digital counterparts. But despite this push from Hollywood to abandon film, there are a small handful of independent theaters across the country that are going in the opposite direction.

On the outskirts of the Poconos, in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, the Mahoning Drive-In Theater is one of the few drive-in theaters in the country keeping 35mm film alive on the big screen outdoors, and preserving the unique and priceless experience of enjoying a classic film under the stars.

The Mahoning Valley Drive-In theater was built in 1947 and opened in 1948. The sizable grounds can accommodate up to a thousand cars, and features a 109 ft. CinemaScope screen, which is the largest on the East coast and second largest in the country. Unlike many drive-ins from the time period, the Mahoning has undergone very few changes over the years so the theater has retained its old school feel. Onsite camping is also available, making the nostalgic experience even more immersive, and elevating the drive-in to a retro-cinema vacation destination.

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In 2014 Jeff Mattox, longtime projectionist for the Mahoning, took ownership of the drive-in. At the time the theater was still showing first run movies without much success. Then one night Jeff had a revelation while driving by other local theaters, who were all playing the same movies: he was tired of showing the same films as every other theater, and wanted to do something different.

The rest of the Mahoning team got involved by chance after filmmaker Matt McClanahan discovered the drive-in on the way to a film shoot in July of 2014. Matt called his boss and friend, Virgil Cardamone, a fellow Temple graduate, filmmaker and drive-in enthusiast, and told him about the theater. The two met with Jeff, and after discussing movies and the drive-in’s future, it was clear the three had a common bond: a love for film and drive-in theaters, and a desire to save the Mahoning. Matt and Virgil decided to work with Jeff as partners to help promote and breathe new life into the drive-in.

Jeff and the team ultimately abandoned plans to try and convert the theater to digital projection, and decided to exclusively show retro classics on 35mm film for the 2015 season. In order to accommodate the older 35mm film reels, Mattox converted the theater’s Simplex E7 35mm projectors from a platter delivery system, which became prevalent in the 1970’s, back to an old school reel to reel set up.

Doing things the old fashioned way in the digital age isn’t without it’s own challenges. Being able to locate and lease quality 35mm prints can be difficult, and Hollywood studios are not typically keen on having old movies competing with their new releases, so lease agreements on old films can often be pricey. These factors combined with the cost of shipping films across the country can make showing strictly classics on 35mm film an expensive endeavor.

Mahoning was able to overcome this challenge by developing a partnership with Exhumed Films, a group dedicated to keeping obscure films, B-movies, and classics alive on the big screen. Exhumed Films has helped the Mahoning bring in quality prints of classic and obscure films, and alleviated some of the shipping costs, being located much closer on the East coast.

The drive-in has been host to some amazing double and triple features this summer, with classics like The Wizard of Oz, Shawshank Redemption, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Superman, Batman, and Cool Hand Luke. They have also had a number of theme weekends, including two Universal Studios Weekends, with iconic films like E.T., Flash Gordon, Jurassic Park, An American Werewolf in London, Dracula, and Phantasm II, and an AVCO Embassy Pictures weekend, featuring Escape From New York, Dead and Buried, and Fear No Evil.

In addition to more classic double and triple features lined up in August, the Mahoning team has some great events planned, including a Planet of the Apes marathon weekend, a horror themed camping weekend, and their first ever music festival. There are also plans to add a stage under their CinemaScope screen to facilitate future music performances and special events.

The Mahoning Drive-In offers a unique and unrivaled outdoor cinematic experience to film buffs, nostalgia lovers, and first timers alike. In a world where drive-in theaters are disappearing, technology is being valued over cinematic quality, and the medium of film is being forced into its grave, the Mahoning Drive-In Theater is keeping the 35 millimeter dream alive, for the medium, for the art form, and for all of us.

Mahoning Drive-In Theater
635 Seneca Rd. Lehighton, Pennsylvania 18235
610-683-7243 mahoningdriveintheater@gmail.com
http://www.mahoningdit.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mahoningdriveintheater
https://twitter.com/MahoningDIT

Exhumed Films
http://www.exhumedfilms.com/

Remnants of a Lost Era: The Drive-In Movie Theaters of New Hampshire

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Drive-In movie theaters have been part of New Hampshire state culture for almost 70 years. Even prior to New Hampshire’s oldest Drive-in theater opening in 1948, drive-in restaurants in New Hampshire were showing films outdoors. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, as the popularity of Drive-in theaters grew across the U.S., the number of New Hampshire drive-ins grew rapidly, reaching double digits, with numerous outdoor theaters spread across the state. As the decades went on, interest in outdoor theaters started to taper off, and many of New Hampshire’s drive-in theaters disappeared. Now only three of the original drive-ins are still in operation, and a total of four remain in the state.

Milford Drive-In Theater

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The Milford Drive-In Theater was built in 1958 by a group of local residents. The theater originally opened as a single screen with an 84 foot wooden screen. In the 1960’s the theater was leased to a local couple, and in 1969 the theater was purchased by the Scharmett family, who have run the drive-in ever since, with the exception of a three year period. In 1984 the property was expanded and a second screen was added. The theater has since replaced the wooden screen with a steel screen, and complete renovations have been done on the concession stand, restrooms, and box office. The theater has also been upgraded with digital projection and Dolby Digital Sound. The theater grounds are clean and well maintained, and the snack bar has a wide selection and reasonable prices.

Milford Drive-In Theater
531 Elm Street, Milford, NH 03055 (603) 673-4090
http://www.milforddrivein.com/

Northern Nights Drive-In

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Northern Nights Drive-in is the newest of New Hampshire’s drive-in theaters. Built by owners Annette and Raymond Dubreuil in 2008, Northern Nights theater is in beautiful Lancaster, NH; located in Coos County, in the Great North Woods region. Northern Nights features a single 25 x 50 ft. screen in a beautiful scenic setting, and a snack bar that features homemade foods and all your drive-in favorites. Northern Nights is unique among NH drive-ins in that it offers camping and a movie. For an additional fee you can reserve a site and watch the movies fireside from your campsite. The theater is currently still running 35mm projection, but hopes to convert to digital projection soon. To help with the conversion to digital, they are accepting donations via their PayPal, and have a Kickstarter campaign in the works. The owners also have plans to add an eat-in diner in addition to the snack bar, and hope to eventually add a second screen.

Northern Nights Drive-In
51 Causeway Street, Lancaster, NH 03584 (603) 788-3558
http://www.northernnightsdrive-in.com/
Northern Nights Drive-In Digital Fund

Northfield Drive-In

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Nestled on the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border, Northfield Drive-In Theater, New Hampshire’s oldest drive-in, was opened in August, 1948 by drive-in pioneer Carl Nilman, who owned numerous drive-in theaters in MA and NH. The original 80 x 54 ft. screen was destroyed by a hurricane in 1951, but was re-built to the same dimensions and is still in use today. In 1967 the theater was sold to the Shakour family who also owned the Keene Drive-in. The theater has been family-run by the Shakour’s ever since. In 1998 the theater was used as a set in the film “The Cider House Rules,” appearing in three scenes in the Academy Award-nominated film. In the spring of 2014 the theater upgraded to digital projection and Dolby Digital Sound. Northfield’s snack bar offers an extensive selection of food and treats. The theater will celebrate it’s 70th anniversary in 2018.

Northfield Drive-In
981 Northfield Road, Hinsdale, NH 03470 (603) 239-4054
http://www.northfielddrivein.com/

Weirs Drive-In Theater

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Opened in 1948 by Harry and Yvonne Gaudet, the Weirs Drive-In Theater was New Hampshire’s second drive-in theater, and is the state’s largest. Located on the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee, the outdoor theater has been a favorite destination for both vacationers and locals for decades. In the early days, the theater featured carbon arc projectors, vacuum tube speakers, and a snack bar. The Gaudets ran the theater until spring of 1966, when their daughter Pauline and son-in-law Donald Drouin took over ownership. Other than a brief period, the Drouins owned and operated the drive-in until 1974, when they sold it to Lawrence and Patricia Baldi, who have owned the theater ever since. The Baldis eventually expanded the drive-in by adding a second screen in the mid 80’s, and later added two additional screens, making it New Hampshire’s only four screen drive-in theater. In May of 2015 the Drive-in was put on the market for $2.5 million dollars. Despite being up for sale, the theater remains in full operation, and upgrades are still being made. Mrs. Baldi has plans to convert two of the theaters four 35mm projectors to digital this summer.

Weirs Drive-In Theater
76 Endicotte Street, Weirs Beach, NH (603) 366-4723
http://www.weirsdrivein.com/

A special thanks to Warren Huse from the Laconia Historical and Museum Society for aiding me in my research of the Weirs Drive-In Theater.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved The contents of this article cannot be reproduced without prior permission of the author.

Clive Barker Releases Director’s Cut of his Cult Fantasy Epic Nightbreed

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Over two decades after the film’s original theatrical release, the director’s cut of Clive Barker’s cult fantasy epic Nightbreed  will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on October 28th by Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory.

Despite Barker’s success with Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser IINightbreed  was not well received upon it’s release, and considered a commercial failure, but over time developed a loyal cult fan base. Frustrated by budget limitations, improper marketing, and lack of enthusiasm by the studio, he was ultimately disappointed with the final cut of the film. In the years to come, Barker often expressed his desire to recover unused additional footage and re-cut the movie the way he had originally envisioned it.

In 2009, Barker’s production company, Seraphim Films, unearthed VHS tapes of lost footage from the film. The footage was edited together with existing footage into a new a cut entitled The Cabal Cut. With a running time of 159 minutes, this was the most complete version of the film yet, utilizing all the found pieces of lost footage, adding almost an entire hour of footage to the film. The Cabal Cut was shown in exclusive screenings in the U.S. and Europe. The screenings renewed fan interest in the film, inspired fans to create petitions, and a movement dubbed “Occupy Midian” to lead the call for the new cut of the film.

Barker eventually refined the Cabal Cut into what is now his final master vision of the film, Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut. At Comic Con 2013, Shout! Factory, Morgan Creek Productions, and Executive Producer Michael Plumides announced a deal to release the new cut of the film. Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut will be released in a Special Edition Blu-Ray / DVD combo pack, and a 3-disc Limited Edition Blu-Ray set on Tuesday October 28, 2014.

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https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/fantasy/nightbreed-the-director-s-cut

https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/fantasy/nightbreed-the-director-s-cut-limited-edition

© 2014 All Rights Reserved The contents of this article cannot be reproduced without prior permission of the author.