Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Favorite Haunted Houses

Right now, haunted house movies are a making a comeback. A remake of Poltergeist comes out next year, another installment of The Amityville Horror franchise does aswell. Not to mention, Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak.

With all this happening, I took a little bit of time to think about my favorite haunted houses in TV/film and decided to share my list with you. This list is in no real order, however.

Murder House (American Horror Story) - I refuse to go into full detail on the haunting of "Murder House" in American Horror Story season one. It would ruin what I consider to be some of the best television I've ever seen. But I will say this, the things that happen inside Murder House are pretty terrifying. The first season is on Netflix and with the Halloween season approaching quickly, this should be added to your watch list.

The Amityville Horror House - Regardless of how you feel about the real life occurrences, or lack thereof if that is your point of view, the house is famous. It also has had a long and sordid past in motion pictures. The original cannot be topped, but many have tried. I look forward to the next film in the series, as it should be interesting to return to the house for the first time in ten years (As The Amityville Haunting does not count).

The House on Haunted Hill - If you can survive a night in this house, you get $10,000...if not, you'll wind up dead. The House on Haunted Hill is a classic. Not only is the house extremely spooky, what is inside is just as bad. This film proves that people can be just as terrifying as ghosts. The House was turned into a former insane asylum for the remake, but it works just as well.

Hill House (The Haunting) - Toted as one of the scariest films of all time, The Haunting features Hill House, not to be confused with the above house. The film revolves around the notion of a person, as well as the house, being haunted. Sadly, the legacy of this house is tarnished by an inferior remake, but you can always cling to the perfect original.

House - Of all the haunted houses, this one has some of the strangest stuff occurring. Roger Cobb, probably based on Stephen King, decides to live in his aunt's house after her passing, the disappearance of his son, and a separation from his wife. Things get weird when he becomes attacked by monsters and discovers a portal to the otherworld in his bathroom. If I had to say, House is the weirdest haunted house movie you will probably ever see. And, if you can brave it, there are three more "stories".

The Freeling House (Poltergeist) - In the quite community of Cuesta Verde, there is a house...built on top of a graveyard. The family inside is dealing with those repercussions. Of all the houses on this list, this one is the scariest. Why? Because the exterior is not scary. If you were to drive past this house, you'd never know that the family inside was experiencing such a horrific ordeal.

Bad Dream House (The Simpsons) - Featured in the first Treehouse of Horror episode, Bad Dream House is an amalgam of various houses on this list. Built on an Indian burial ground, looking like Amityville on the side, like a mix of The Addams House and The Munsters House in the front, and destroyed like The Freeling House, it's almost perfect. Bad Dream House lives on as one of the best segments of the Treehouse of Horror series.

Rose Red - From the mind of Stephen King mixed with The Winchester Mystery House wrapped up in a cocoon of The Haunting of Hill House, comes Rose Red. Airing in 2002 and lasting four hours, Rose Red is something I keep coming back to. I am enticed by every aspect of the house and in this four hour miniseries, I was legitimately scared a number of times. You can't help but watch it all in one sitting.

So, make some popcorn and be prepared to be scared. If you planned to sleep tonight, I'm sorry.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monster 500

Today, I went to a Toys Я Us for the first time is more years than I can honestly remember. I am not really the toy kind of guy anymore. Not because I am too old or cool, but because I am generally too broke to collect toys in addition to movies. Which is what turned today into an awful day, as I discovered these...

Now, if you're here, you obviously share my passion for spooky things. So, you're either aware of these or will be incredibly excited to hear about it! Monster 500 is a line of die cast cars that feature monsters.

As you can see, these creations are born right out of the mind of "Big Daddy" Ed Roth. Rat Fink would be right at home with these ghouls. While not the most original idea, these things are awesome. They look fantastic and the fact that each of their cars is representative of what they are just sweetens the pot. The alligator is driving a toilet! You can't beat that!

The first set of monsters consists of 10 great monsters and there are already 10 more monsters planned. I don't want to rip of the website, but there are racer bios and plenty more over there. Here is the link.

They come in single packs, three packs, and a few of them have big plastic versions that make sounds and light up! Oh...and did I mention there were playsets!?

It don't know about you, but this is quickly becoming my number #1 item on my Christmas list. But let's face it, I will buy it well before Christmas.

Now, normally, this doesn't bother me. The cars are $5 and the playsets are nicely priced. But...and there is always a but when it comes to toys...there are chase figures. Each character has a variant (Either glow, red, green, black or metal). Today...I will admit to you, my readers, I went to three different stores and didn't find a single one. It was not a successful toy run.

But mean to tell me that there is more?! Monster 500 has a video game app where you can race as the monsters. I'm not very good at it yet, but it is a lot of fun. There are codes in the packages that give you items in the game. It's ingenious. It's almost exactly like Mario Kart, if that helps.

Now that I've detailed just how amazing these things are, let's talk about something very important. These are only at Toys Я Us. I don't want you to go to Target or Wal-Mart looking for these. If these are your cup of tea, I certainly hope you go seek them out. If only so the children of today have great toys.

Happy Hunting to you all and I'll see you on the race track.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Look - Goosebumps: The Movie

For years and years, Sony has been trying to create a movie based on the extremely popular children's book series, Goosebumps. As a massive fan of the series and the TV show that it spawned, I couldn't be happier that it has gone before the cameras.

One of the best ideas that the studio could have had is to base the feature not on any books, but on an original idea based around the world of Goosebumps and its creator.

The best part about the film is that one of the greatest actors of all-time, Jack Black, is playing the role of R.L. Stine. Now, the two don't look all...but that doesn't stop it from being extremely great casting. Today, the first photos from the film have been released. Check them out below.

In addition to Black, Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush are featured as well. Minnette is no stranger to the works of Stine, having starred in two different episodes of The Haunting Hour.

The story of the film follows a young man who moves to a new town and befriends the beautiful girl next door, who just who happens to be the daughter of the famous writer, R.L. Stine. After unknowingly releasing the monsters that Stine contained in his books, it is up to the group to save the town and contain the monsters.

Combining a small town, real monsters, and young protagonists are key trademarks of the Goosebumps franchise. Not to mention the comparisons that will be drawn to Wes Craven's New Nightmare or John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness. Even if this film is awful, I will love and cherish it forever.

Just thinking that the book series has been adapted into a film and that the film is most likely cause a book version of the film to be written is almost too meta for me to handle. If R.L. Stine himself adapts it...the world just might implode on itself.

I will be writing more on the subject as the movie progresses. Should be very exciting!