Monday, November 30, 2015

Krampus is coming!

Christmas is getting a terrifying makeover with the new movie KRAMPUS, directed by Michael Dougherty (creator of the cult classic Trick 'r Treat). Surprisingly this is the first major film featuring the hairy, cloven-hoofed creature with goat horns that hails from Alpine folklore. According to the legend, Krampus travels along with Santa Claus to punish the bad children who he whips, or stuffs into a bag and takes back to the underworld to eat. Will this be the next cult holiday film? Find out this Friday, December 4, and visit the Krampus Tumbler page for some great e-cards.

"The Feast of St. Nicholas" celebrated throughout Europe on December 6 is often proceeded by "Krampus Night" on December 5 where people dressed as the scary creature run amuck on the streets. It's actually been banned by many cities because the merriment often turns to havoc! For more info on regional events, info, videos, and links visit

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crimson Peak: What Went Wrong

If you enjoyed the grandeur of Guillermo del Toro's gothic haunted house film Crimson Peak, you were probably in the minority and will likely not see a film like this again. In my review, I called it a once in a generation type of film because a big budget opus with top tier cast in a Hollywood horror event film rarely comes along. Crimson Peak's dismal box office literally put the last nail in the coffin. Budgeted at $55 million, it made just over $29 million in 4 weeks of release.

An article at Forbes breaks down the further embarrassing details, including a list of cheap, forgettable movies that made more money on opening weekend: The Messengers, One Missed Call, The Eye, Darkness Falls, Stay Alive and The Rite. Yikes. So what when wrong? The article dissects the problems astutely:

1. A high concept film. Period films – that are not prestige Oscar bait – rarely do well with audiences. Add to that the gothic romance part that seems to discourage diehard horror movie fans. It struggled to find the right audience.

2. Early reviews. There's film festivals for people who love genre films, and there's the local newspapers who typically hate genre films. Fantastic Fest audiences loved the film but their reviews were embargoed until local newspaper reviewers could see the film. As a result potential audiences saw the local newspapers negative reviews first before the distributor could release the more favorable reviews.

3. The director's social blunder. Guillermo del Toro's 2-week social media blasts where he stressed that it wasn't a horror film was certainly off-putting for me – and I'm a diehard fan! Imagine what it did to mainstream movie audiences who don't understand what a gothic romance is or that del Toro doesn't know how to speak in a common denominator to the masses? This movie was a classic horror film through and through.

4. Geeks don't bring in bucks. The director, the stars, the concept though geared to a very specific audience seemed to have broader appeal on paper but surprisingly it didn't entice mainstream audiences who preferred the kid-friendly Goosebumps and Hotel Transylvania 2. The "R" rating kept away the lucrative teen market who devours horror films, although given the subject matter, I can't imagine teens lining up to see this anyway. Crimson Peak is a film for adults who love the genre and I'm guessing most of them are waiting for home viewing.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Post-Mortem 2015

Another Halloween is dead and buried! As a purist, I teardown my front yard display before noon after Halloween. I'm hoping some of our neighbors will think, "Did that really happen or was it just a bad dream?" Although they are more likely thinking, "Thank goodness that house is normal again." Now to figure out how to store all that awesome stuff. 

We had perfect weather for Halloween night and ended up with 366 trick 'r treaters! Being on a Saturday I noticed the lil' ones had a late start around 7pm (usually they're at our front door by 5pm). Then the streets suddenly filled with hordes of walkers for two solid hours tapering off by 9:30pm. It's such a great way to meet neighbors and extended neighbors.

This year, I brought out Hekate the three-headed witch, first featured in 2013 although I added a tall hunched body, new arms, cat claws, and a toothy sneer. You take the hat off a witch and she suddenly becomes much more sinister! I imagined that she was in some deep forest shack where the elements have taken over, tree roots growing through the house, spiders everywhere, while she conjures up a skeleton army. A projection on the window (from the excellent had skeletons beating on the window! A photo album and video will appear on very soon, and make sure to follow or bookmark our new My Scary Halloween Flickr for even more photos. 

We hope you had a SCARY Halloween and look forward to a restful winter hibernation.