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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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 103 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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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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 374 اجمالى المشاهدات,  4 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.”

 333 اجمالى المشاهدات,  4 اليوم

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متوسط ​​تقييم 5 / 5. عدد الأصوات: 1

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‘Choose or Die’: The Netflix Original Horror Film is Kind of Underwhelming

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وقت القراءة المقدر: 14 دقيقة (دقائق)

Austin Oguri is a screenwriter and has deep appreciation for the art of film in general, he aims to offer unique perspectives through his film reviews and feature articles. He also has a soft spot for lesser-known works, and enjoys spotlighting them whenever he can. Austin has always found it necessary for people to encourage and bring out the best in each other, and as a writer at The Hollywood Insider, he can combine that ideology with his ability to think outside the box and truly express his love for the arts in the best ways possible.
Apr 20, 2022
Table of Contents
Photo: ‘Choose or Die’
When it comes to horror films, there are a lot of factors that must be balanced in order to create an end product that’s satisfying for its potential audience. On top of the engaging story and likable characters vital to any movie’s success, a proper unsettling atmosphere must be established without being forced. Real horror doesn’t come merely from jumpscares or extreme violence, it comes from suspense, high stakes, and characters the audience cares about trying to escape nightmarish situations. This is something that classic horror films like ‘Child’s Play’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ nailed.
In a post-‘Saw’ world, however, a common complaint regarding many modern horror movies is that they rely more on shock and gore than actual tension. It was for this reason that the trailer for the latest Netflix horror film, ‘Choose or Die’, concerned me a bit. Some of the moments teased in the trailer made the film look like it was leaning more towards a “make-the-viewers-feel-sick” angle rather than a proper sense of fear or dread. But does the actual film confirm those concerns of mine? Is this movie little more than shock value for the sake of shock value?

Helmed by first-time director Toby Meakins, ‘Choose or Die’ is a British horror-thriller film about a financially-struggling college student named Kayla (Iola Evans). She lives in an apartment building with her drug-addicted mother (Angela Griffin), who’s not only broken over the death of her son, but taken advantage of by the apartment’s abusive landlord. While learning to code from her friend Isaac (Asa Butterfield), she discovers a mysterious text-based interactive fiction game called CURS>R that offers a large amount of money to whoever can complete it. However, it turns out this isn’t any ordinary game, and it holds a power that puts her and anyone close to her in great danger.
Right off the bat, I’m glad to report that this is not a movie that’s over-reliant on nasty imagery in order to be creepy. Yes, there are a few scenes where the violence gets rather unpleasant, but those scenes are far and few between, and most of the horror here is established properly through atmospheric tension. There were a few scenes that actually were pretty suspenseful all things considered, and none of these scenes even featured any on-screen violence at all. There is an earnest attempt at making a creepy, suspenseful movie here, and I appreciate that. The acting is also pretty good, with the cast faking American accents so well I never even realized they were British until I looked it up later. Additionally, the musical score, composed by Liam Howlett of The Prodigy is fairly decent. It utilizes a lot of ominous retro-sounding electronic noises that fit perfectly, considering the subject matter of the film revolves around an old computer game.

However, despite ‘Choose or Die’ doing a good number of things right, I personally felt the movie fell short in a number of areas. While the direction was solid, most of the movie’s problems lie in the script; for starters, there’s a decent amount of less-than-stellar dialogue that just doesn’t feel natural. In particular, there are quite a few f-bombs dropped throughout the film, and oftentimes when the word is spoken, it sounds fairly forced. It’s no secret that in real life, some people have a tendency to swear left and right, but when it comes to movie dialogue, excessive swearing runs the risk of sounding unnaturally implemented, depending on how well the dialogue is written. Language aside, I personally felt that the biggest drawback of this film was the small scale.
The conflict in ‘Choose or Die’ feels like it’s building up to something grand and exciting, but without spoiling anything, the end result comes off as more anticlimactic than anything. The stakes are there, and they’re gradually raised throughout the film, but by the end of it, Kayla’s journey comes off as surprisingly small. There have been mid-budget movies that have benefited from smaller-scale stories, and films that would have benefitted from shorter runtimes, but in the case of ‘Choose or Die’, a slightly longer runtime in conjunction with a larger scale of the story could’ve made it a lot more engaging. As is, it feels more like an extended episode of a TV show than a proper movie.

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Prior to the release of ‘Choose or Die’, one piece of trivia that stood out was the fact that the film featured Robert Englund, the actor famous for playing the iconic Freddy Krueger in the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ films. Enough attention was drawn to the casting choice to make one believe that he played a large role in the movie, perhaps the villain. However, in the actual movie, Robert Englund’s role is merely a meta voice-only cameo. In what feels more like fanservice than anything, Englund plays a fictional version of himself, who is only briefly heard in a pre-recorded message over the phone introducing CURS>R players to the game.
While there’s a lot of attention brought to the fact that this is Robert Englund, with Isaac becoming super excited upon hearing his voice on the message, it doesn’t really add anything as far as the rest of the film goes. While this wasn’t any sort of problem for me – a cameo is just that: a cameo, after all – it’s worth pointing out for anyone who might’ve been interested in this film simply because Englund’s name is attached to it. 

When all is said and done, ‘Choose or Die’ has a decent handful of things going for it, such as the acting, the surprisingly effective tone, and some of the special effects, but even so, the film as a whole unfortunately came across as flat and underwhelming. As far as recommendations go, this is one I feel is fairly skippable for most. However, if you’re someone like me who enjoys browsing through lower-budget independent movies on streaming services and/or you’re a horror junkie, then there’s nothing stopping you from checking this movie out for yourself. If you want to settle down one night and check out something mildly spooky, this isn’t a bad choice, even if there are better films out there even in that regard. I’m not a die-hard horror fanatic, so I can’t speak on behalf of those who are, so if this movie sounds at all interesting to you, I’d say at the very least give it a chance.
Cast & Crew:
Directed by: Toby Meakins
Written by: Simon Allen
Starring: Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Angela Griffin, Ryan Gage, Robert Englund
By Austin Oguri
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.
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Austin Oguri is a screenwriter and has deep appreciation for the art of film in general, he aims to offer unique perspectives through his film reviews and feature articles. He also has a soft spot for lesser-known works, and enjoys spotlighting them whenever he can. Austin has always found it necessary for people to encourage and bring out the best in each other, and as a writer at The Hollywood Insider, he can combine that ideology with his ability to think outside the box and truly express his love for the arts in the best ways possible.
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Austin Oguri is a screenwriter and has deep appreciation for the art of film in general, he aims to offer unique perspectives through his film reviews and feature articles. He also has a soft spot for lesser-known works, and enjoys spotlighting them whenever he can. Austin has always found it necessary for people to encourage and bring out the best in each other, and as a writer at The Hollywood Insider, he can combine that ideology with his ability to think outside the box and truly express his love for the arts in the best ways possible.
Austin Oguri is a screenwriter and has deep appreciation for the art of film in general, he aims to offer unique perspectives through his film reviews and feature articles. He also has a soft spot for lesser-known works, and enjoys spotlighting them whenever he can. Austin has always found it necessary for people to encourage and bring out the best in each other, and as a writer at The Hollywood Insider, he can combine that ideology with his ability to think outside the box and truly express his love for the arts in the best ways possible.

 316 اجمالى المشاهدات,  4 اليوم

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