the dark tapes

The new found footage horror anthology, The Dark Tapes, offers an enjoyably demented descent into demonology.

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So, what are demons anyway? Are they, as most of the world’s major philosophies and religions have taught since the dawn of time, malevolent spirits actively working against mankind’s best interests? Or are they, as recent skeptics would have us believe, nothing more than fairy tales conjured up through a misunderstanding of mental illness? Or maybe they’re something else entirely, something we haven’t thought of yet. Well, the new found footage anthology, The Dark Tapes, may not offer a definitive answer as to what demons are, but it’s an enjoyably demented descent into demonology nonetheless.

Like most anthology films, The Dark Tapes begins and ends with a wraparound story. To Catch a Demon opens with a couple stumbling upon the bloody scene of what appears to have been a failed scientific experiment. Playing back footage from the onsite cameras reveal that a team of paranormal researchers had set up shop in the space to test their theory regarding demons. Believing such entities to be trans-dimensional beings perceptible only to humans in a state of sleep paralysis, the group prepares a number of devices specially designed to capture one of the creatures on film.

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Savageland Sign

Savageland: The Fear of the Unknown & the Monstrous

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It might seem odd to suggest there are any similarities between the story of Dracula and the recently released independent horror film, Savageland. After all, just about everybody knows Dracula. He’s that sexy vampire dude who seduces women and sucks on their necks. That’s the Dracula the movies show us anyway. On the other hand, it’s unlikely many people have even heard of Savageland. And if they have managed to run across it, then they know it certainly has nothing to do with any nosferatu. So, how can there be any possible connection between the two?

Savageland SignWell, it has to do with subtext. You see, while it’s true that the tale of Dracula has always had an element of sex to it, that was hardly the only underlying theme to be found in Bram Stoker’s original 1897 novel. Along with its undercurrents of repressed female sexuality, the narrative also contained nods to the dangers of modernity and the saving grace of Christianity. But as pointed out in a recent article in Lapham’s Quarterly, a number of scholars believe the work to carry one particular motif that likely resonated strongly with its contemporary Victorian audience; that of the threat of the foreigner.

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The Dark Crypt of DTV: The Snare and Arbor Demon offer up a weekend of horrors

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Ever since the ancient Jews took the advice of the Ten Commandments and started taking a day off for rest and contemplation, folks have been reaping the benefits of the weekend.

In an article for the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Ryan, Bernstein, and Brown explain “that for both male and female workers, weekend and non-work activities were associated with several indicators of well-being, and these relations were partially or fully mediated by basic psychological need satisfaction.” In short, taking time off is good for our mental and spiritual well-being.

Of course, that assumes our weekend plans go as we hope. A couple of recent direct-to-video releases explore just what horrors might await those whose downtime gets derailed by the unexpected.

 

THE SNARE

Things are unbearable for Alice (Eaoifa Forward) at home, what with her repulsive, sexually abusive father never more than a few steps away. It’s no wonder then that she would agree to play the part of third wheel on a weekend getaway with her party girl pal Lizzy (Rachel Warren) and Lizzy’s loutish boyfriend Carl (Dan Paton).

Having pilfered keys to a seaside apartment from Lizzy’s father, the trio are surprised to find the entire building deserted upon their arrival.

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Horror in Small Doses: The short film Conscience explores the consequences of ignoring your inner voice.

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Low budget horror movies have always been a pretty good bet for those looking to turn a nice profit. A fine example is last year’s Lights Out, a movie made for under $5 million dollars that went on to gross $148 million at the worldwide box office. That’s a pretty impressive return on investment. Of course, what made the success of Lights Out even more astounding is that the entire film was based on a two and a half minute clip on YouTube.

As weird as that may sound, moviegoers may as well get used to the idea of seeing a meme turned into a major motion picture. In a conversation with Business Insider, box office analyst Jeff Bock explains, “If you can get enough hits organically through YouTube, guess what, Hollywood will come calling… These online channels are the way that people are going to be discovered in the future.”

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea here at The Horror! to occasionally peruse some of the less-than-feature-length frights to be found out there in the dark corners of the Internet.

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Green Room Horror Film

2016 Review of Overlooked Horror Films — Part 4

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Last year was such a bountiful one for horror fans that we could probably just keep reviewing 2016’s overlooked fright films ad infinitum. Alas, that would be unfair to 2017, which no doubt has terrors of its own to offer us, so perhaps it’s time to wrap things up. We’ve already discussed at length The Witch and The Invitation, both of which are films well worth the time. Here are a few more.

Green Room

Out of gas and strapped for cash, punk band the Ain’t Rights reluctantly agree to a play a gig for neo-Nazi skinheads at a dive deep in the woods outside Portland. Returning backstage after the show, the band stumbles upon a murder scene. The guilty skinheads quickly decide to eliminate any and all witnesses, but the band manages to take a bar employee hostage and barricade themselves in the green room. Blood quickly begins to flow on both sides.

More a siege/survival movie than a straight horror film, Green Room has nevertheless shot to the top of many a Best Horror of 2016 lists. Admittedly, there is absolutely nothing new in the setup or in the way the story progresses.

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