In the overall world of horror, obsession is truly frightening. Obsession can take on many forms in fandom. Fans become obsessed with their favorite genre films, characters, scenes, creators or in this case, commentary on a film. Written by Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) and directed by Adam Rifkin (Chillerama), Director’s Cut is one of the year’s darkest, and most uncomfortable genre films. Released by Epic Pictures, Director’s Cut stars Jillette, Missi Pyle (Pandemic), Harry Hamlin (Clash of the Titans), and Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2). The film focuses on the character Herbert (Jillette) who opens the film by giving us his directors commentary for the action, buddy cop feature which Pyle, Hamlin, and MacArthur are currently filming. As we listen to Herbert give his thoughts, reactions, film lingo, and criticism about the film, you realize that something does not seem to be right with Herbert observations and his access to the set, talent, and footage. With each scene and each day of production that goes by on the film, we learn that Herbert is not what he seems and may not be the director he claims.
Author Archive for: Jay Kay
About Jay Kay
Jay Kay is a Horror News Network Contributor and Host of the Rondo Award nominated Horror Happens Radio Show. You can follow him on Twitter @JayKayHorror
Entries by Jay Kay
From the visually powerful mind of acclaimed filmmaker and producer Rebekah Fieschi (Mauvaises Têtes and Monster Soup) comes a fantastical perspective of loneness, empowerment and fantasy in Sylphvania Grove. Focusing on a young girl named Mycena (Maxine Wanderer), Sylphvania Grove is a departure from the horror stylings of Fieschi and more into the fable/horror hybrid that tells a complete story of a coming of age.
Mycena sits in her room, ready for bed while waiting for her parents to get home. Trying to make Mycena’s bedtime more peaceful and easier, her nanny, Kim (Charlie Gillette) picks up the storybook entitled Sylphvania Grove and begins to read it to her, hoping that her parent’s absence will be forgotten. As Mycena begins to settle in, Kim puts down the book to let her rest for the night. Mycena can’t shake the weighing of the emotion that her parents are absent again to tuck her in, talk to her or even be there as she deals with emotions no child should have to bare. As Kim leaves Mycena to sleep, the storybook comes to life and becomes her guide to a world just outside her window and into the woods. Adding on to the what she already knows of Sylphvania Grove, she ventures into the woods following the storybooks prompts brought to shining life right off the page. read more read more
In the tradition of isolation thrillers focused on beautiful people being sniped out including Phonebooth, Roadside, Carnage Park, ATM (sort of) and one of the first to create this type of horror in Targets, comes the latest from talented genre filmmaker Ryûhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train and Godzilla: Final Wars) with Downrange. Currently playing on the horror streaming platform of Shudder and its World Premiere as part of the 2017 Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival, Kitamura returns with a film that does not reinvent the wheel but finds its voice in this very tense sub-genre. Downrange begins with very little exposition. Propped and blended into a tree, a sniper (most likely a military) waits for any vehicle to become deadly target practice on an open stretch of road. Horror happens for a group of twenty somethings traveling along the road when their tire is blown out. The gunman waits for them to settle as they repair the tire. Dealing with the time going by, the group begins to feel that things are not right. Without much warning, the gunman begins to pick off the group one by one. Beginning with the strongest of the group, members start to fall as they are sniped or pinned down in a deadly game of target practice for no reason what so ever. As the group takes cover, they must get past the emotional horror and find it in themselves to survive until help comes. read more read more
We all have struggles in our life, money, relationships, failures of the past, family and more. The idea that things can change within a moment and we could be shoved into a choice or situation that is unthinkable. How elemental sins like greed, trust and deception become focal points. One of the joys in attending a genre film festival is the wealth of choices you have to watch, review and experience. While in Ohio last October, I attended the Nightmares Film Festival. I was lucky enough to catch the tense thriller by the Ramsey brothers called the Midnighters. Written by first-time screenwriter Alston Ramsey and directed by Julius Ramsey (The Walking Dead and Flashforward), the Midnighters is a streamlined conflict that is clever, emotional and connects the viewer to situational horror that challenges you throughout. read more read more
The internet and social media are more influential than ever. People on their phones, posting on social media, hiding behind avatars, streaming their thoughts and accessing anything their hearts desire no matter how dark. Imagine the very tool to learn and access brought you closer to your death? In The Dark Military, we meet a group a diverse people brought together to be part of a game on Halloween. Over one night, that game of life or death will be executed with no one or nothing to help them. A tense, thrilling and brutal blending horror and action together, who will be strong enough and survive to witness the rise of The Dark Military. With the film working through festivals around the world, Jay Kay grabbed writer, actor, producer and director Loren Lepre to talk lighting, drafting a cast and creating killer deaths for the Horror News Network. read more read more
With more than fifty directing credits, multiple feature films including the recently released Arbor Demon and the intense, cult storm thriller Nailbiter, filmmaker Patrick Rea’s range of storytelling runs from very intense to darkly dramatic to silly fun but always personal. A complete filmmaker, he is craving an island out in the vast ocean of content and filmmakers. Rea continues to redefine what tension and fear and how they affect our reality, choices and actions. In one of his latest short films Justice Served, we witness the confession of a man on trial for crimes he may have committed. Powerful, honest and intense, Rea weaves horror into the judicial system that makes us ponder the intent of those who live in the shadows and the motives of those who roam in the light. Rea took some time out to speak with Jay Kay about this short form film which is touring film festivals and receiving acclaim. read more read more
In the last decade, filmmaker Ryan M. Andrews is continuing to pump out compelling genre cinema north of the border. In Save Yourself, five women are on a road trip to a film festival in Los Angeles. All are involved with the next terrifying visions of horror. The fans are rabid at the screening, the crew and cast are at different stages of their careers. As they decide to hit the road for the west coast instead of hanging with the fans, their road trip to macabre fame becomes a spiral into a nightmare as they confront a family with dark secrets and inhumane results. Ryan took some time out while he works on his next film the Art of Obsession to talk with Jay Kay here on the Horror News Network. read more read more
The year is 1860, the world is so much simpler, peaceful and vast. This is not the case, however, for Sheriff Sam Lock who is investigating a series of bizarre events surrounding the Crownhill Family and their patriarch. Trapped in a massive snow storm, a mad figure is on the loose killing with a focused evil against the white and endless canvas on the vast estate of Evermore. Thrilling, tense, off-balanced and gothic, Beneath Ash & Bone is the latest from talented author D. Alexander Ward through Necro Publishing. Ward took some time out to discuss with Jay Kay a variety of topics including the authentic feel, racism, dark secrets, gothic horror and more for the Horror News Network. read more read more
As young man growing up in my neighborhood, I remember certain times in my life when I was scared so deeply that is froze me on every level. Stories that echo that fright and a moment frozen in a sensation that immerses you in the dark is Blood in the Woods, written by J.P. Willie. Willie tells the coming of age story of friends, a small town, insidious acts of evil and the events that surrounded them all. Willie took some time out during the promotional tour for Blood in the Woods to talk friendship, the idea of evil, impact as an author and tone of the writing with Jay Kay and the Horror News Network. read more read more
Patrick Lacey knows how to tap into the fears, insecurities and deepest wishes we had left behind for any number of reasons in our lives. His recent works have been some of the best horror fiction I have had the pleasure of reading and discussing. Based in Massachusetts, Lacey blends lore and reality on a narrow line that takes characters out of their element and puts them into the darkness of their true selves. This trend of macabre storytelling continues with his latest novel We Came Back. read more