Entries by John Evans

Fans and Critics Mobilize to Save Fox’s The Exorcist: How You Can Help!

With just two more episodes of the first season of The Exorcist to go, fans are concerned over the fact that Fox has been silent about plans for renewing the series for another season. Horror News Network’s first review of the show was lukewarm at best, but the show has grown to become one of our favorite horror shows on television. Other media outlets followed a similar trajectory: Bloody Disgusting recently published an editorial entitled, “I Misjudged The Exorcist and I’m Sorry.” read more read more

James Wan to Produce New Mortal Kombat Movie

Variety reports that a new Mortal Kombat film is on the horizon. Based on the popular video game franchise, the film will be produced by horror master James Wan (director of SawInsidiousThe Conjuring), among others. Simon McQuoid, a prolific commercial director who has not yet broken into the world of movies, is currently in talks to direct the film.

The first Mortal Kombat movie, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson in 1995, certainly led to the greatest fifth grade birthday party I could ever ask for; while the 1997 sequel was super cheesy, even to my middle school sensibilities of the time. Hopefully this new attempt will feature a successful mix of outrageous characters and gory action that Mortal Kombat fans krave. read more read more

The Exorcist: The Series “The Griefbearers” Episode Review

Chapter Eight of Fox’s The Exorcist, entitled “The Griefbearers” continues to prove the series’ reputation as a quality program that takes creative risks to achieve an expert level of horror storytelling. This episode raises the stakes with the ultimate exorcism of Casey Rance (Hannah Kasulka) and the deaths of two important characters… events which will certainly build towards the high stakes climax of this season.

Geena Davis gives her strongest performance of the season in Episode Eight. Three episodes after a major twist revealed that Angela Rance is actually Regan MacNeil of the original 1973 film, the show now provides Davis with more scenes and more material than ever before. Angela now feels much more like a main character, and her internal struggle over how she is in some way responsible for her daughter’s suffering plays out in numerous interesting ways. One particularly effective scene featured Angela seeing her childhood self in the dusty basement of the classic film, speaking to the Captain Howdy who captivated her as a child. An earlier Horror News Network review commented on how a scene depicting Captain Howdy slowly chipping away at Regan as she lets her guard down wouldn’t have felt out of place in the original film. Through a series of surprise events in the series, the viewers actually get to see that scene!Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. Robert Emmet Lunney is creepier than ever before with his bright red and white satin clothing, shoulder bird, and grey nail polish. His interactions with adult Angela and child Regan are perverse and manipulative. It is interesting that his technique seems to be tailored to each individual person he meets. His early encounters with Casey were grossly charming. His early interactions with Regan were creepily childlike. With Angela, he is confrontational and direct. It is clear that the fact that Captain Howdy has been waiting for Angela for over 40 years makes him just as eager to get to her as she is to free her child of this pain. read more read more

Listen to Stanley Kubrick’s Daughter: Don’t Watch Dr. Phil Exploit Shelley Duvall

In 1980, Shelley Duvall starred in director Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining. Her other considerable achievements include Time BanditsPopeye, and Faerie Tale Theatre. Fans have wondered about her whereabouts over the years, as she has not acted in over 14 years.

Unfortunately, a commercial for Dr. Phil began airing yesterday which lures viewers in with an exploitative look at Duvall’s current difficulties. After presenting anecdotes that reveal that Duvall is struggling with mental illness, she says that she needs help, and “the good doctor” states that he’s going to help her. But if he really wanted to help her, he wouldn’t be waving her in front of a television camera in an attempt to boost ratings. read more read more

Check Out the First Official Trailer for Ghost in the Shell!

After months and months of being very secretive, Paramount Pictures have released the first full length official trailer for 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. Feel free to watch it on repeat below:

If the trailer is any indication, the world of this adaption of the classic anime film is looking like it could be the most detailed and complex futuristic landscape since Blade Runner. It also appears that many of the creepy elements that made the original so popular will be realized on the big screen. Stay tuned to Horror News Network for all upcoming news and a review when the film comes to theaters on March 31, 2017. read more read more

The Exorcist: The Series “Father of Lies” Episode Review

Episode Seven of Fox’s The Exorcist series, entitled “Father of Lies,” continues to bring the series into an interesting direction as several main characters are drawn into intense new physical and psychological conflicts. Based on the events of this episode, it’s clear that the season is headed for an explosive climax.

The age of the 24 hour media cycle is explored early on in the episode, as the Rance household is surrounded and harassed by fans, protesters and reporters. While Sharon Gless’ Chris MacNeil can take it because she’s seen it all before, these conditions are particularly stressful for Geena Davis’ Angela. Some of the particularly fascinating scenes of this episode portray an interesting dichotomy between Chris’ and Angela’s respective strengths and weaknesses. Angela’s newfound insight into what Chris must have felt during Angela’s own brush with the demon is the perfect example of the character-centric kind of show The Exorcist has become. Once the grieving mother, Chris now has to play a different role in what is happening to the Rance family, and her strength seems to keep the other family members just barely moving forward. read more read more

Black Mirror Season Three Review and Analysis: Concept Over Character

Black Mirror Season Three, the first season to be produced exclusively for Netflix, exhibits a variety of achievements and missteps; and while there are some interesting concepts, its lukewarm delivery (despite one good episode and one particularly excellent episode) demonstrates that is has a ways to go to match the quality of other recent Netflix and horror/sci-fi television offerings.

Described by many as “The Twilight Zone for the tech generation,” Black Mirror dazzled British audiences in its first and second seasons, and then later picked up steam in the United States on Netflix. While loosely connected and existing in the same universe (with most episodes featuring a broken mirror or establishing shots focused on black mirror-like surfaces), each episode addresses an entirely different concept. This results in a wide spectrum of tones and atmospheres. The original episodes feature talented English actors and actresses known to American audiences, such as Hayley Atwell, Oona Chaplin, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jon Hamm, and Netflix chose to continue the tradition by hiring Alice Eve, Jerome Flynn, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Kelly Macdonald to fill important roles in the present season. Interestingly, despite featuring top talent, Black Mirror’s biggest issue so far seems to be a lack of characterization and character development. This stems from too much of a focus on the technology over the characters. read more read more

Executive Producer of The Exorcist Shares Insight into Season One and Beyond

Variety recently sat down with Jeremy Slater, the creator and one of the executive producers of Fox’s The Exorcist series. Slater revealed many interesting details about the creative process of making the show and explained where the series will be going in the future.

Readers who have been following Horror News Network’s reviews know that the show is surprisingly intelligent and character-driven, especially for a TV-14 network show that airs at 9:00. While the pilot episode felt a little too reliant on the source material, the episodes that have followed have proven to be thoughtfully crafted and unafraid to explore ideas and storytelling techniques which go beyond the 1973 original movie. Based on Slater’s comments, these refreshing qualities were no accident: read more read more

The Exorcist: The Series “Star of the Morning” Episode Review

Two weeks since its series-altering surprise reveal, Fox’s The Exorcist returned to television this Friday with “Star of the Morning,” an episode which solidly builds upon this new surprising development. Last episode’s review avoided spoiling the major twist to give readers time to catch up with the series, but now it’s time to dive in!

In Episode Five, it is revealed that Geena Davis’ Angela Rance is really Regan MacNeil of the original The Exorcist film. While this twist explains some things, like why Angela’s mind jumped right to “possession” as soon as things started going wrong in her house; this change to the series mid-season could end up taking away from what has been built so far if the showrunners are not careful. Based on this week’s developments, it seems like the show is looking to build directly off of the first movie… potentially ignoring the mediocre Exorcist II: The Heretic and the slightly better The Exorcist III. We learn that Regan changed her name in an attempt to start fresh after her mother, Chris MacNeil, exploited her possession story for financial gain. No one, not even her husband Henry (Alan Ruck), knew of her secret, and this naturally allows for a lot of resentment and conflict between the various characters once it is known that Angela could have potentially been a better help in curing Casey (Hannah Kasulka) had she been completely honest about all of the variables. read more read more

Don’t Breathe Director, Fede Alvarez, May Direct Sony’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Followup

Variety has reported that Sony Pictures may be close to selecting Fede Alvarez, director of the Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe, to direct its followup to 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The film will reportedly be based on the novel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Based on the tremendous critical and financial success of the grisly Don’t Breathe, it isn’t surprising that Alvarez would be a top contender for taking a crack at this notoriously dark and intense series. read more read more