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‘Malibu Horror Story’ Is The Future of Found Footage [Unnamed Footage Festival]

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وقت القراءة المقدر: 7 دقيقة (دقائق)

Before I review Malibu Horror Story, it’s crucial to understand the film’s rollercoaster of a past. Director Scott Slone started working on the film in the late 00s, catching the wave of films like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. But time and time again, Slone and his team found themselves delaying and reshaping the project. They wanted to create something that would stick out amongst a barrage of new found footage. The result is a horror film that isn’t simply a found footage movie. It’s a time capsule of the subgenre, of how the idea of found footage has shifted in the last 15 years. It’s an incredible piece of history. And thankfully it’s also pretty damn entertaining.
Malibu Horror Story opens with four YouTubers setting up equipment in a dark cave. They’re angling cameras, talking over the script, and making sure everything is set for their shoot. The third-person omniscient camera flows between characters as it sets the scene; something creepy is about to go down.
One of our hosts Ashley (Valentina de Angelis) explains to the camera that they’re about to hold an EVP session to speak to the spirits that haunt the cave. After a successful session where something comes through the spirit box, the group celebrates with a drink. This all feels very familiar, the typical “influencers do something idiotic for views” tale. But, expectations are quickly subverted as Jessica (Rebecca Forsythe) asks Josh (Dylan Sprayberry) to watch a cut on her laptop.
Here, Slone transitions us seamlessly into his version of a second screen horror film as we watch Jessica’s edit of a video about this very cave. It’s essentially all of their research and establishing the context to why they’re in this specific place. It looks the typical Buzzfeed Unsolved episode. The hosts take turns sharing the story of the four Malibu boys who, after graduating, disappeared. This is where they show the “true” found footage, taken by the boys while on a camping trip.
The footage not only shows what happens on the camping trip, but the debauchery on graduation night full of drugs, alcohol, and nudity. The controversy paints a picture of spoiled boys getting to do whatever they want. It provides a more complex narrative about these kids and makes their disappearance feel all the more real.
But the real horror lies in newly discovered footage that reveals that something in this cave attacked the boys. The paranormal theory involves the spirits of Indigenous people seeking revenge on the white people who massacred them. This is where the narrative stumbles as it relies on dated tropes about Indigenous people to shape its horror. These three stories all come together to tell a, well, horror story about a haunted cave and the people who think they can conquer it.
There are three distinct layers of media in Malibu Horror Story: the initial found footage, the YouTubers’ rough cut of their latest episode, and the frame narrative of the ghost hunters filming in the cave. These layers of media are like rings on a tree, each indicating the passage of time and a new interpretation of first-person POV filmmaking. The central nugget, the traditional handheld footage of partying teens and their bloody demise, was Slone’s initial film.
What makes Malibu Horror Story stand out is how well Slone moves between his layers of media to make it feel believable. This isn’t just a jarring switch between first-person and third-person perspectives. Every move between perspectives is done purposefully. It convinces me that hybrid found footage can be executed beautifully. This film shows that you can make to make something that appeals to found footage lovers like me, as well as people who may get nauseous at the idea of 90 minutes of handheld video.
The use of gore and practical effects are also utilized well across the board. This again creates cohesion among the three different “movies” while also delivering scares that’ll satisfy any audience. Douglas Tait and Troy James, the contortionists who play the creature, twist and turn across the screen, giving The Exorcist’s Reagan a run for her money. Blood soaks through each layer of media, creating an entertaining yet ultimately nihilistic entry in the found footage genre. Despite taking place over a span of 15 years, the monster and effects don’t feel wildly mismatched, making the film feel like a seamless narrative. It’s an impressive feat for a film that, for all intents and purposes, is a Frankenstein’s monster of sorts.
The found footage purist in me does crave more first-person moments that delve into the horror of the cave. But if I put that aside, Malibu Horror Story is a look into the future of the first-person POV horror filmmaking technique. Slone’s knowledge of the subgenre and his ability to weave together both found footage and traditional narrative creates something that any horror fan will enjoy. Hybrid is the future of the subgenre and Slone is on the cutting edge.
Summary
In its seamless use of both found footage and traditional narrative techniques, ‘Malibu Horror Story’ is a look into the future of found footage. And the future looks bright.
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 322 اجمالى المشاهدات,  3 اليوم

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‘American Horror Stories’: Ryan Murphy Unveils New Chapters Of Fear & Frights In ‘AHS’ Spinoff Teaser

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وقت القراءة المقدر: 2 دقيقة (دقائق)

Ryan Murphy ushers in new chapters of the American Horror Story franchise in a teaser for the upcoming Hulu anthology series, American Horror Stories.

“Every episode brings you a different nightmare,” Murphy tweeted on Wednesday.

Murphy, who has been teasing American Horror Stories with posters on his social media accounts, dropped the teaser on Twitter. The brief snippet follows a rubber woman on a journey that revisits some of the most memorable locations in the AHS franchise.

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American Horror Stories is a weekly hourlong anthology series that will feature a different horror story in each contained episode. The spinoff will premiere exclusively on Hulu July 15. Earlier this month Murphy revealed that Kevin McHale, Dyllón Burnside, Charles Melton and Nico Greetham will star in the series.

During a panel for Ratched in August 2020, AHS and American Crime Story star Sarah Paulson said that she will direct some of the series.

The tenth installment of the flagship series, American Horror Story: Double Feature, will debut on FX Wednesday, August 25.

During the May Upfront presentations, FX Chairman John Landgraf said that American Horror Stories will commence in July and conclude on Halloween. The series is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Alexis Martin Woodall, John J. Gray and Manny Coto.

New horrors and fears await viewers in the American Horror Stories teaser – watch it below.

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 1,031 اجمالى المشاهدات,  11 اليوم

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‘Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare’ Is the Most Messed Up Found Footage Gem You’ve Never Seen

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وقت القراءة المقدر: 8 دقيقة (دقائق)

I’m always looking to be shocked. I want to be shaken to my core, changed by what I’m seeing, and unable to keep off my brain once the imagery has seeped inside. That’s what I look for in my horror films—and to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been surprised or even genuinely scared while immersing myself in the genre. And then along came Rafaël Cherkaski’s Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare, a found footage nightmare he wrote, directed, and starred in.
I first saw the movie during the 2020 virtual edition of Unnamed Footage Festival — an incredible festival I encourage you to check out — and was immediately intrigued by its sharp spiral into depraved territory. It’s a great feeling (you know, as a horror die-hard) when a story keeps you anticipating how gruesome and debased it might become. I couldn’t stop watching until I knew. The terrifying French film is, without question, a found footage masterpiece. But the fact remains that it is highly under-watched. Because of its lack of exposure, a lot of genre fans have yet to experience the horror of this film, and what it seeks to teach us. Something tells me it would be on a lot more “best of” lists and the subject of even more essays if they had. It’s the most messed up found footage gem you’ve never seen, so strap the hell in.
Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare follows a bright young man named Sorgoi Prakov, a journalist from a fictional Eastern European country who has just arrived in Paris to film a documentary about the “European dream.” You know, like the American dream. Same difference, basically. However, a series of bad decisions and unfortunate incidents set Prakov on a path of self-destruction, mayhem, destitution, and madness as his project is devastatingly thrown off the rails.
The 2013 horror story has a pretty simple premise, yet its specificity is what sets it apart from just being your typical documentary-gone-wrong. The very real spiral its main character is forced down by the also very real circumstances of the film is something a lot of people are a stone’s throw away from. The tendency to imagine yourself in the same position while watching makes things infinitely more terrifying. Add the kind heart and specifically generous spirit Prakov brings to the piece and it’s hard not to sympathize with the disturbing turn of events he deals with.
The film is a cautionary tale that presents us with several lessons we can’t help but learn, mainly because the end is so brutal that no empathetic and sane human could justify the means, nor could they imagine how to make their way out of such a mental and emotional struggle unchanged. Unfiltered panic coupled with alienation can warp your brain and throw you off course, even more so if you have a mental illness you’re keeping at bay.
For an hour and a half, Descent Into Darkness fights to prove that a little kindness can go a long way— especially for those who are struggling in ways we have never and may never fully comprehend. Further, it’s an indictment on normal folks and the way we treat unhoused folks who have come onto hard times usually through no fault of their own. There is a specific and nearly existential horror in the way we alienate houseless and financially insecure people, making them feel less than for their struggles. Prakov’s sanity waxes and wanes on his descent into darkness. Those tides stem from whether or not he has been shown kindness as he struggles to get back onto his feet and make his way home.
Descent Into Darkness shows how the mental toll of those struggles and the alienation manifests inside him, and it really is far from pretty. It’s incredibly dark, but so is how we treat unhomed individuals in developed countries. Their plights are deeper and more insidious than we could imagine. But this film does a great job of helping us see that baseless physical and emotional destruction firsthand.
Aside from its smart yet simple story, Descent Into Darkness also shines through its more technical aspects. The directing—expertly tackled by lead actor Cherkaski—is incredibly smart. The filmmaker focuses on Prakov’s buttoned-up optimism at the beginning of the film and truly takes audiences down a spiral through more than just the script. The beginning of the movie definitely has a professional tinge to it to match Prakov’s initial intentions. But as we travel further down the rabbit hole, Cherkaski’s direction becomes more erratic and unpredictable. He uses quippy camerawork and fiercely smart editing by his editing team — one particularly beautiful cut between daylight and nighttime comes to mind—to support the main character’s degradation into psychosis. It’s done in such a way that the pacing of the film ends up feeling perfect, too.
You know when a film’s story feels like it’s moving unrealistically fast, or even just achingly slow? It takes you out of the story, where you need to be firmly planted throughout the runtime, and tends to ruin the experience. The way Descent Into Darkness is shot and edited, with an almost staccato mindset as the film progresses, aids in supporting the story and evens out its pace. The result is a perfectly timed, eerily orchestrated nosedive into hell.
Aside from the crucial behind-the-camera brilliance that makes this film an underappreciated gem, it’s important to highlight one of the main reasons to watch this movie if you haven’t yet: the acting. Cherkaski is electric as Prakov and perfectly balances the character’s desperate innocence—which quickly bleeds into wild depravity.
In 2010’s Black Swan, Vincent Cassel’s ballet company director character is unsure if he can trust Natalie Portman’s Nina Sayers with the lead role in “Swan Lake,” because she excels at the virtuous white swan, but may not have the bite to also play the black swan. Cherkaski doesn’t have that issue. He is the white swan and the black swan in equal measure, which makes you as sad for him as you are for the victims of his senseless violence. It’s a really natural performance. Cherkaski makes for one of the most convincing, menacing, and downright evil antagonists in found footage—maybe even horror in general.
There’s a lot to love in Descent Into Darkness, which feels like an oxymoron when you type it or say it out loud. But it’s truly a special horror film that both shocked and changed me when I was lucky enough to catch a special cut at a film festival. It’s a movie that proved to me there’s magic in horror, that it can do crazy things and that those crazy things can make you feel renewed. It’s a movie that made me appreciate filmmaking that much more. Descent Into Darkness is underappreciated, underseen, and undervalued in an oversaturated genre. So, it makes sense that it would’ve been overlooked. Do yourself a favor and change that. Pop a little popcorn, dim the lights. Just don’t expect to feel like you haven’t, too, descended into darkness when it’s all over.

 625 اجمالى المشاهدات,  11 اليوم

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‘Captive Audience: An American Horror Story’ Review: More Shocking Than Fiction

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وقت القراءة المقدر: 2 دقيقة (دقائق)

Too smart for “true crime” and far more artfully constructed than standard-issue nonfiction, “Captive Audience” revisits the case of Steven Stayner, who in 1972 disappeared without a trace and then resurfaced seven years later, with a fellow kidnap victim in tow. Those with long memories will know right off where else the Stayner family saga is going, but others will be utterly shocked—which is supportive evidence in the case being made by director Jessica Dimmock. “If you have an experience and it doesn’t become a story,” says Steven’s mother, Kay, “it dies.” Which, coming as it does near the end of episode 3, is a statement as startling as any other in this three-part series.
The word “story” is repeated at least a dozen times in the opening moments of “Captive Audience,” mostly by TV anchors and correspondents, framing the Stayner case as it led the news circa Dec. 4, 1972: a 7-year-old boy, vanishing on his way home from school in humble Merced, Calif., stoking the worst fears of parents, inspiring exhaustive searches and then, as all such stories do when they aren’t solved, going cold. The very sympathetic Kay Stayner, who says she never stopped believing her son would return, concedes that when the police contacted her in March 1980, she immediately expected the worst. “I had all this hope for all these years, and at the end I thought it was going to be bad news.”

 930 اجمالى المشاهدات,  11 اليوم

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متوسط ​​تقييم 5 / 5. عدد الأصوات: 1

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