Leatherface returns to the big screen this weekend wielding his chainsaw and human face masks in 3D. Early anticipation for this movie was high with promises from the filmmakers of it being a direct sequel to the original, staying true to the legend. However, as we got closer to the release, the previews and reviews seem to tell a different story. Most noticeable is that they actually dropped “massacre” from the title, simply calling the movie Texas Chainsaw 3D. In addition, the cast doesn’t look interesting nor does the story they’ve contrived which has a descendant of the Sawyer family inheriting the infamous massacre house and taking her friends out to Texas to “check it out”. Is that really the best scenario they could come up with? The most interesting scene looks like it will be Leatherface going to a carnival. We could imagine that the people at the carnival think that he simply lost his way from work at the carnival haunt.
We can’t fairly review the movie without seeing it yet but we can say that we’re becoming more disappointed to see Hollywood abusing our horror icons. Whoring them out for quick profits. We love seeing the old killers and monsters from the silver scream come back but we want to see them come back the right way. It seems it will be awhile before Hollywood will be able to thrill, scare and capture our imaginations again with the horror icons.
Fortunately, the haunt industry has done a better job in keeping the terror alive. This past haunt season, Universal reincarnated Leatherface and brought us one of the most scariest mazes of 2012 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law. Many of you will remember in ’07 and ’08 HHN featured a Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze based upon the 2003 remake. While the maze was exactly the same both years we found it to be one of the more intense mazes during those years which also featured a Friday The 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street mazes. The 2012 version was a true recreation of the scariest moments of the original. In reading our following review you’ll see why…
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law
Now leave it to an old horror icon to really bring the terror! This maze was one the best HHN offerings this year. There’s been a few years of silence on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, but now the buzz is back. Many of you will remember in ’07 and ’08, HHN featured a Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze based on the 2003 remake. This version takes us back to the original 1974 Tobe Hopper classic. Inside you’ll find the entire Sawyer family, including Leatherface, Old Man, The Hitchhiker, and Grandpa. We also get to see Leatherface wearing his different grotesque human masks. This maze keeps up a frenetic pace, with scareactors attacking nonstop. Not only do they appear, they chase you as well! The scenes fall in sequence with the movie, and overall, the maze was a very fitting tribute to the movie. One scene we didn’t see, or maybe missed because we were running in terror, was the girl being placed on the meat hook. Nonetheless, we all left this maze out of breath and delighted to have experienced and survived it! Now that we have a maze based on an original Tobe Hooper movie, we can only hope that 2013 will bring us a maze based on his other horror classic movie, The Funhouse.
During this time of year, we get together with family to celebrate the season. And what brings families together more than a heart-warming Christmas movie? Well, when you you get sick of all the heart-warming tripe, check out one of the movies on our list below as we’ve loaded up your Xmas stalking, um stocking… with a nice collection of Holiday Horrors just for you.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Years after witnessing his parents perish at the hands of a burglar disguised as Santa Claus, Billy Chapman dons a Kris Kringle suit of his own and goes on a terrible holiday killing spree, finally returning to the abusive orphanage that raised him. ‘Tis the season for yuletide mayhem! Charles E. Sellier Jr. directs this horror cult favorite, co-starring Robert Brian Wilson and Lilyan Chauvin.
This movie spawned four sequels, all of which were more ridiculous than the first. The first one seemed to take itself somewhat seriously, but as you can see from this much beloved “garbage day” clip from the second movie, things went really downhill in the sequels:
When a man brings home an adorable creature from Chinatown as a Christmas present for his son Billy, the shopkeeper’s sage advice — no midnight snacks, no water, mood lighting only — goes unheeded. As a result, devilish green creatures with a million vices take over the small town on Christmas Eve. This 1980s hit was written by Chris Columbus and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and is not recommended for your littlest monsters.
This is perhaps the best-known and probably best-quality movie on this list, and it’s a true classic from the 1980s.
Black Christmas (1974)
Terror reigns inside a sorority house a few days before Christmas break as a series of menacing phone calls — and the discovery of a dead girl’s body — transform yuletide cheer into fear. Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey and Andrea Martin (“SCTV”) co-star as just a few of the petrified sisters at the mercy of an unseen stalker in this 1970s horror gem from director Robert Clark, who told a much happier holiday tale with his 1983 classic, A Christmas Story.
This movie was filled with a lot of just…weirdness.
And of course, they remade this movie in 2006.
The Shining (1980)
While this isn’t directly a Christmas movie the winter setting creates a sense of holiday of terror unlike any other movie. This is also high on our “wish list” for a haunted attraction, well suited for Universal.
The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The film is based on the novel of the same name, by Stephen King, about a writer with a wife and young son who accepts the job of off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel. The son, who possesses psychic abilities, is able to see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts in the hotel. Soon after moving in, and after a paralyzing winter storm that leaves the family snowbound, the father becomes influenced by the supernatural presence in the haunted hotel; he descends into madness and attempts to kill his wife and son.
Jack Frost (1996)
When his prison transport collides with a truck full of “genetic material,” condemned serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald) is inexplicably transformed into a terrifying, murderous snowman. With a red plaid scarf, a carrot nose and a heart made out of coal, the icy madman sets his sights on a small rural town and goes on an old-fashioned killing spree. Shannon Elizabeth co-stars in this chilling horror flick directed by Michael Cooney.
The description of this movie made us wonder what exactly they mean by “genetic material”? (Kids, don’t eat the slimy snow.) This movie is so beyond ridiculous that it’s really a comedy rather than horror. It’s best watched after consuming a pitcher of spiked eggnog.
Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996)
Defense attorney, Jennifer Garrick, acquires a Pinocchio puppet from a condemned serial killer. Her pre-teen daughter, Zoe, mistakes the puppet as a birthday present and grows really attached to her new doll friend. Suddenly, accidents begin to happen to those who cross Zoe. Zoe claims it’s her Pinocchio doll. Zoe’s therapist thinks otherwise. Soon Pinocchio and Zoe are conversing about his bad behavior. Pinocchio promises he’ll behave if Zoe will cut his strings. Zoe complies, and the mysterious murders begin…
Christmas Evil (1980)
The winter weather isn’t the only thing that’s frightful about this unconventional holiday offering about a toy maker whose obsession with Christmas spirals dangerously out of control. After enduring a traumatic childhood in which he learned there was no such thing as Santa Claus, Harry Stadling (Brandon Maggart) takes it upon himself to judge the “naughty” and the “nice.” But instead of spreading cheer, he opts for fear.
Here’s a great bunch of clips from the movie:
Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas (1984)
A murderer is running loose through the streets of London, hunting down men dressed as Santa and killing them all in different, extremely violent, and quite colorful fashions. Inspector Harris has decided to take on the seemingly impossible task of tracking down the psychopath, but he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Only the suspicious reporter, Giles, seems to offer the Inspector any promising leads.
You can watch the entire movie on YouTube.
Santa Claws (1996)
Under normal conditions, a man in a jolly red suit can be delightful. But when the outfit belongs to a demented psycho (Grant Kramer) who’s convinced he’s Santa Claus, it’s absolutely frightful. Raven Quinn (Debbie Rochon), a sexy B-movie scream queen whose marriage is crumbling, is already dreading the Christmas season. When her creepy next-door neighbor starts dishing out his own brand of holiday cheer, things only go south from there.
Santa’s Slay (2005)
Jolly old Saint Nick (Bill Goldberg [yes, the wrestler]) isn’t making a gift list this year — he’s making a hit list, checking it twice and unleashing his inner demon for an unforgettably terrifying Christmas. A bet that Santa lost to an angel 1,000 years ago has expired, and now he’s hell-bent on spreading some holiday fear. As the big day approaches, only young Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) and his grandfather (Robert Culp) can stop him.
Santa Claws Conquers the Martians (1964)
The Martians are irked that their children spend so much time watching TV shows from Earth that sing the praises of Santa Claus, so they decide to make a trek to the planet to capture Mr. Claus. During their mission, they also abduct two children who lead the aliens to the North Pole and Santa. The Martians take all three earthlings back to Mars, where, with the help of a native, they manage to spread Christmas cheer throughout the red planet.
A serious B-movie classic; so great, it was featured on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
If you’re so inclined, you can actually watch the entire movie on YouTube.
Today we’re sitting around our dinner tables, giving thanks for all the great haunts we experienced this year, and counting down in our heads until the next haunting season (we calculate approximately 305 days until the first major haunts open next September).
And despite the terror that goes along with being surrounded by family for the day, there just aren’t many horror movies themed to Thanksgiving. Of course just about every zombie movie can qualify as a Thanksgiving movie, since they feature people eating but it’s about time someone tap into the unrealized Thanksgiving horror market. Uwe Boll, Eli Roth, Jason Blum perhaps? Anyone?
Eli Roth actually has teased the possibility with this fake trailer for the “Thanksgiving” horror movie that was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse.
We did find a few handful of real movies for you, including the new holiday horror “franchise” ThanksKilling. So, when you’re done stuffing yourself you can watch these psychos and turkeys take their turns at slicing :
Home Sweet Home (1981)
The Bradley family’s country home turns into a slaughterhouse when an escaped mental patient steals a station wagon and shows up on their doorstep in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. Now, instead of the traditional turkey, the Bradleys seem to be the main course on this killer’s holiday menu. Jake Steinfeld (“Body by Jake”), Vinessa Shaw, Peter De Paula, Don Edmunds and Charles Hoyes co-star in this early slice of 1980s horror. [Description from Netflix.]
Blood Freak (1972)
In this bizarre story, a bodybuilder named Herschel has become a serious marijuana addict. One day, while working on a turkey farm, Herschel consumes contaminated meat, and soon after, his head is transformed into a turkey head. The turkey-headed muscle man still craves his weed, so he gobble-gobbles and attacks other addicts and dealers in order to snag their dope and feed his addiction.[Description from Netflix.]
And the biggest Thanksgiving masterpieces of all…
While on their way home for Thanksgiving break, five college kids run afoul of a homicidal turkey that wants them dead. As the cursed bird hunts them down one by one, the survivors scramble to find a way to defeat the possessed creature. Will the bloodthirsty turkey make this their last Thanksgiving feast ever? Writer-director Jordan Downey’s holiday-themed horror spoof features an appearance by adult-film star Wanda Lust.[Description from Netflix. NOTE: This film is available on Netflix streaming.]
ThanksKilling 3 (2012)
Fowl-mouthed villain Turkie carves through the likes of a rapping grandma, a mindless puppet, a wig-wearing inventor, a bisexual space worm, and their equally ridiculous friends on his quest to recover the last copy of “ThanksKilling 2″.
If watching the edited and out of order Halloween movies Marathon on AMC doesn’t slice it the right way for you; then take a stroll to your local movie theater where the infamous boogeyman will be waiting for you!
Forget Paranormal Activity 4 and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, here’s a real way to get into the Halloween spirit with the rerelease of the classic, “John Carpenter’s Halloween” showing all across the US and UK this week.
Check this linkto find a U.S. theater near you and get your tickets before they sell out (looks like Michael will be busy once again)!
As if the fact he was married to Katy Perry weren’t scary enough, Russell Brand is now going to star in the first ever Hollywood movie about haunts! Given that the haunt industry takes in $2 billion each year, it only makes sense that Hollywood is now ready to bring the fun and (hopefully) terrors to the big screen.
Brand has signed on for the lead role in the family-friendly film THE HAUNTREPRENEUR. The film follows a family who hires a peculiar “hauntrepreneur” to help them adjust to their new town by creating a haunted house full of oddball characters. The script is from Scott Rosenberg, who also wrote the underrated HIGH FIDELITY, but is also responsible for GONE IN 60 SECONDS and CON AIR, so don’t get too excited.
The Hauntrepreneur is being produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes (Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes). The project has previously been described as similar in tone to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a bit of Beetlejuice thrown in. It’s expected that Brand will play the role as an off-center combination of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka and Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice.
We guess Russell Brand is one of the best “scareactors” currently working in Hollywood, but we just hope that he’s able to convey the authentic ”spirit” of the haunt experience on the big screen. We also pray that this movie doesn’t turn into another Eddie Murphy Haunted Mansion type fiasco; now that was a scary mess.
Haunt season is around the corner and a few horror flicks have begun to grace to the silver screen over the past few weeks. However, the lifespan of many of these recent movie releases has been shorter than that of a horny and high teenage couple, frolicking naked in the no trespass section of the woods, after their car has broken down on the way to a spring break party. This week the new movie offerings are limited but they do feature some of horrors favorite names such as Sid Haig, Tim Curry and An American Werewolf in London director John Landis.
In addition, we have a ‘Movie Haunt Review’, based on a movie’s haunt potential.
Creature (Limited Release): An ex-Navy seal (Mehcad Brooks), his girlfriend (Serinda Swan) and their friends head out on a road trip to New Orleans. The group decides to stop at a roadside convenience store owned by Chopper (Sid Haig), who tells them the tale of Lockjaw, a fabled god-like creature who is half-man, half-alligator. The legend has it that an inbred local man by the name of Grimley (Daniel Bernhardt) lost his family to a monstrous white alligator, which then drove him to madness and some believe he was transformed into that very creature that now haunts the depths of the swamps. Their curiosity peaked, the group decides to play along with the local tourist trap and journey deep into the backwoods to find the old dilapidated cabin which is supposed to be the birthplace of the creature. As they set-up camp for the night, their faith is put to the test when Lockjaw turns out to be more than just a myth and they realize the locals are hiding a horrifying secret that jeopardizes them all.
Burke & Hare (Limited Release): William Burke and William Hare are scratching out a living in 1830s Edinburgh. After yet another failed business venture, they return to Hare’s lodging house to find that their tenant has suddenly died on rent day. As the boys decide how to dispose of the body over a drink, they discover that a corpse can fetch a hefty price. Edinburgh is the center of the medical universe and the city’s doctors are crying out for more cadavers for their educational lectures. First they try the infamous Dr. Monro, but he’s not interested, so they sell the corpse to Dr. Knox, his vain and ambitious rival who urges them to bring any more ‘unfortunates’ they may stumble upon. Entrepreneurial Hare is quick to realize they’ve hit on a great money making venture and despite the more sensitive Burke’s misgivings, they embark on a series of plans to secure more bodies. They arrange a series of deadly ‘accidents’ for the local unfortunates and to celebrate their success, they go out on the town to celebrate. There, Burke meets Ginny, a beautiful and spirited aspiring actress. In a series of hilarious comic misadventures Burke and Hare begin to secure a steady stream of bodies and the cash starts rolling in.
Movie Haunt Review
Dylan Dog – Dead of Night (Available on DVD and Blu-Ray): Based on the popular Italian graphic novel series “Dylan Dog” by Tiziano Sclavi. Brandon Routh stars as Dylan Dog, world famous private investigator specializing in affairs of the undead. His PI business card reads “No Pulse? No Problem.” Armed with an edgy wit and carrying an arsenal of silver and wood-tipped bullets, Dylan must track down a dangerous artifact before a war ensues between his werewolf, vampire and zombie clients living undercover in the monster infested backstreets of New Orleans.
We recently watched this movie over the holiday weekend and were pleasantly surprised by it. While it played as an mystery-action movie, there were a few surprise scares sprinkled through out. It did have some of the usual vampire vs. werewolf themes that we’ve seen in movies such as, NetherworldandVan Helsing.It also had some camp humor, like the zombie support group for ‘new’ zombies, but it was played out very well and fit the story line. What we like most about the movie was the Gothic New Orleans sets and blending of infamous horror creatures (vampires, zombies, werewolves). We definitely could see the various sets and monsters inside a haunt maze/house. The zombie parts store, werewolf meat factory, and vampire chamber on a boat all offer some unique haunt sets and scares. This movie was suggested as a haunt for HHN but we actually could see this being a better theme for a Cedar Fair Haunt (Knott’s Scary Farm, Scarowinds, etc.) or a non-commercial local haunt. Whoever does it, just needs to find a way to recreate the digging out of grave scene.
What happens when Jaws 3D shows up in the Piranha infested Deep Blue Sea waters of Camp Crystal Lake? It becomes a Shark Night in 3D! We won’t lie and not admit that we are suckers for monster shark movies and 3D so we may sneak into this at some point over the holiday weekend.
Shark Night 3D: Arriving by boat at her family’s Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik (Sinqua Walls) stumbles from the salt-water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the injury was caused by a freak wake-boarding accident, the group realizes they have to get Malik to a hospital on the other side of the lake, and fast. But as they set out in a tiny speedboat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks! As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land.
Now, what happens when astronauts from Cloverfield take the Blair Witch Project video cameras into outer space and encounter Aliens? Or is it Jason X, or Leprechaun? Shaky video cameras and space travel make us a little motion sick so we may sit this one out.
Apollo 18: Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
We’re very interested in this weekend’s release of Guillermo Del Toro’s remake of the 1973 TV movie classic Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark. This is the movie that made kids who grew up in the 70′s terrified of their fireplaces. With an ‘R’ rating and the new CGI version of those beastly little demons, we expect this version will really ratchet up the scare factor.
As always, we’ll be evaluating the movie for haunt potential. From the trailer alone, we think that Del Toro’s signature story style will lend itself well for a haunt experience based on this creepy tale. It will just be a challenge to find actors small enough to play the the demons (*rim shot*).
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Introverted Sally Hurst has just moved in with her father Alex and his girlfriend Kim when she realizes that their sprawling estate holds its fair share of secrets. Ascending to the depths of the house, Sally gains access to a secret lower level that has lain undisturbed for nearly a century, when the original builder vanished without a trace. When Sally accidentally opens the gateway that kept the creatures locked up tight, she realizes that in order to prevent them from destroying her family is to convince her skeptical father than monsters really exist.
The Caller (Limited Release): Troubled divorcee Mary Kee is tormented by a series of sinister phone calls from a mysterious woman. When the stranger reveals she’s calling from the past, Mary tries to break off contact. But the caller doesn’t like being ignored, and looks for revenge in a unique and terrifying way.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil (VOD – Fri, August 26): Tucker and Dale are two well-meaning hillbillies who just bought the vacation home of their dreams – a run-down, lakefront cabin in the middle of the woods. Only their peace is disrupted when a group of rowdy college students choose their area of the forest to go camping. When one of the girls falls into the lake (a result of Tucker and Dale startling her), they bring her back to their cabin to bandage her up. The catch: when they tell her friends they have her, the teens think they had kidnapped her. A chain of hilarious misunderstandings ensue, consisting of the teenagers accidentally killing themselves in front of the unsuspecting (and truly baffled) Tucker and Dale.
Outcast (VOD – Tue, August 30): It tells the tale of Petronella (a Scottish/Romany girl) and Fergal (her mysterious Irish traveller boyfriend). As their doomed relationship plays out, a Beast stalks the estate, killing locals, working its way towards our protagonists. Meanwhile Cathal and Liam, two mysterious travellers from Ireland use ritual and magic on a blood hunt. Mary, Fergal’s mother performs ritual and magic of her own. As Cathal comes face to face with Mary in a vicious finale we know one thing: the Beast must die.
Children of the Corn – Genesis (DVD - Tue, August 30): TIM and ALLIE seek shelter in a remote desert compound after becoming lost and stranded. A strange Manson-like character, PREACHER (Drago), reluctantly allows them inside with strict orders to be gone by morning and not wander “where you are not invited.” At first, Preacher and his mail-order wife OKSANA (Nedeljakova) deny the faint screams and cries that emanate from one of the crumbling outbuildings. When Allie sneaks outside to investigate, she discovers that she and Tim have stumbled onto a bizarre cult worshiping an entity that may — or may not — dwell inside a haunted little boy.
Orcs! (DVD – Wed, August 31): Faced with extinction, two park rangers are forced to defend the national park against hordes of rampaging orcs. Ancient and long forgotten, these orcs are unleashed from the depths of the mountains, and they won’t stop until we’re all dead.
We’re glad to share that today is the one year anniversary of Scare Zone!
We launched as a blog on January 7th, 2010 and expanded to this site on August 20th, 2010. In our first year we’ve already reached over over 44,000 unique Haunt Stalkers in 134 different countries. We also have published over 300 articles about news, rumors, and reviews of theme park and other commercial haunted attractions throughout the United States and the world. In addition, we’ve conducted haunt surveys and covered stories about horror movies, haunt industry conventions and other scary things.
Here are links to our top 5 stories read over the past year:
Most importantly, a huge scream out to all our Haunt Stalkers! Keep visiting us frequently at Scare-Zone.com and tell your friends too. Be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter too. We’re planning more site upgrades and features in the coming year!
We’re having a great time sharing our love for haunts and look forward to sharing even more scary adventures with you all during the 2011 Haunt Season… and beyond.
As summer slowly comes to an end and haunts are lurking in the horizon, another treat for haunt stalkers are the new slate of horror movies rolling into theaters, airing on TV, releasing on DVD and streaming online.
The first big horror franchise to make it into theaters was last week’s premier of Final Destination 5. It seems that Death hasn’t put this movie franchise on it’s execution list yet and neither have the fans, as the movie was #3 in the Box Office, grossing over $18M. This round of fatality gone wild has been recciving positive reviews and is being called the best sequel since the original. The opening sequence alone, promises to be one of the best 3D horror scenes ever produced.
We’ve wondered if Final Destination could work as a haunt theme. There is a lot of potential, especially as a Universal HHN Hollywood Terror Tram theme. Imagine, if you will, someone having a vision about a major tram tour disaster that kills everyone on board. After we watch “ourselves” get killed in the freak tram accident, we realize that we have time to get off before the catastrophe actually happens. However, once we get off the tram that’s when death begins to stalk us. We want credit if they ever do this!
FRIGHT NIGHT (3D):Opening this weekend, this is another highly anticipated 80′s horror remake starring Colin Farrell. Senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all—he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right— yet no one, including Charley’s mom (Toni Collette), seems to notice! After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charley has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic.
DVD Releases on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Troll Hunter:A mockumentary that follows a group of students that discover what they believe to be a government conspiracy to keep the existence of trolls in the north of Norway hidden from the general public.
Super Hybrid:Christine for green drivers. Late one night, a mysterious car is brought into the Chicago police impound garage after a deadly traffic accident. The garage’s female mechanic, Tilda, and her young, hip fellow mechanics soon discover the car has a mind of its own: it morphs into different cars to confuse them and instead of needing an engine to run, it breathes. It’s a killing machine that is capable of outrunning and outwitting humans.