Friday, December 23, 2016

Candidate #7

(September 2016)

After the terribly disappointing Damien--the A&E TV take on The Omen--I honestly didn’t have high hopes for Fox’s The Exorcist.

Let’s face it, The Exorcist is a much more towering presence in horror cinema than The Omen, so it stood to reason that a television version of it would have a much higher degree of difficulty.
But wouldn’t you know it, Jeremy Slater (who developed The Exorcist for the small screen) actually pulled an infernally feisty rabbit out of this particular hat, and gave us another notable reason to celebrate TV horror.

Not much more I can say without getting all spoiler-y, except maybe this: there are a whole bunch of callbacks to the original film peppered throughout the first season’s 10 episodes (you’ll know them when you see them), and there’s one apparently incredulous Mulder Moment courtesy of Geena Davis’ Angela Rance in the Pilot, my suggestion for which is, “Just roll with it.”

So, yeah.
If you’re in the mood for some excellent TV horror, then the power of Christ compels you to check this out!

(The Exorcist OS’ courtesy of and

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Candidate #6

(May 2016)

I'll say it right up front: if you watch a lot of zombie cinema, then you’ve seen this movie before.

Yes, they’re speaking in Korean, and sure, we’re on a speeding train, but you’ve got the Sudden Outbreak, the Initially Unlikely Hero, the Somewhat Obnoxious Guy Who May or May Not Prove to Be Heroic After All, the Characters Who Will Need Extra Protection (in this case, we have a Child and an Expectant Mother), and yes, of course we have the A$$hole.
And believe you me, the specimen we have here, played by Kim Eui-sung is like, Lord Emperor A$$hole.

Despite the familiarity of the character types and the beats though--there are a number of Sacrifices here, both of the Voluntary, and definitely Not Voluntary type, as well as Moments of Pathos, where the music swells and we’re moved to reach for a box of tissues--it cannot be denied that Yeon Sang-ho’s Busanhaeng is an effective entry in zombie cinema, and as such, worthy of some ¡Q horror! love.
(Unless of course, you’re a Slow Zombie loyalist, in which case, do not apply; Busanhaeng sports adrenalized, occasionally contortionist zombies.)

Thus, given where the film positions itself on the narrative spectrum, there is also no significant Romero sociopolitical subtext here, the biggest takeaway perhaps being this tried and tested law in zombie cinema: no matter how bad things get, there’s always going to be an a$$hole who’ll make things even worse…

(Busanhaeng quad courtesy of

Monday, December 12, 2016

Candidate #5

(September 2016)

"I have heard myself say that a house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living.
"It can only be borrowed from the ghosts that have stayed behind.”

After carving out an entire slot for himself in the ¡Q horror! 2016 rundown--for co-writing the screenplay of The Girl in the Photographs, and for his feature debut, The Blackcoat’s Daughter--Osgood Perkins is back, with his sophomore effort, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.

Here, we see 28-year-old hospice nurse Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson), move in with the elderly Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a writer of horror novels (“… [t]he kinds of thick, frightening books that people buy at airports and supermarkets,” Lily observes).
Novels with titles like The Dark Moon Flower, Underwater Housewife, She Wore Her Hair Around Her Neck, and--of particular interest to the film’s plot--The Lady in the Walls.
True to ¡Q horror! form, things do not go well.
At all.

Nothing more need be said, save that I Am the Pretty Thing… is the kind of horror film that advances with a languid, stealthy tread, trailing its horror behind it in a train of rotting lace.
If you enjoy the exquisite, lingering dread of slow burn horror, then you definitely need to check this one out…

“… [b]ut left alone, with only your own eyes looking back at you… and even the prettiest things rot.
“You fall apart like flowers…”

Parting Shot 1:
It’s interesting to note that there’s another prominent ghost in this film: Osgood’s father, the one and only Anthony Perkins.
From the prominent use of “You Keep Coming Back Like A Song” (by Tony Perkins with Urbie Green and His Orchestra, contained in From My Heart from 1958), to a scene from 1956’s Friendly Persuasion (for which Perkins was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), to the film’s dedication (“for A.P.” which I can only assume stands for “Anthony Perkins”), the late Perkins’ presence is very much felt in I Am the Pretty Thing

Parting Shot 2:
There also another Perkins with a prominent role here as well, Osgood’s brother, Elvis, who provides the film’s soundtrack, as he did on The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

(I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House OS courtesy of

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Candidate #4

(March 2016)

"I always thought this house was haunted.
"Really? Why?”
"I don’t know. Ever since we were kids, it just felt like there was some dark vagina just hovering over this place, waiting to swallow me up.”
“Maybe it was just your latent homosexuality talking, hmmm?”
“Shut up. I’m being serious. I’ve always been scared here, dude.”

For much of its initial section of running time, Thomas Dekker’s Jack Goes Home plays more like a dysfunctional domestic drama than anything else, as the titular Jack Thurlow (Rory Culkin) receives some tragic news that precipitates his--as the film’s title indicates--return to his family home.
But, since this is ¡Q horror! territory, it’s a safe bet that that’s not what the film is ultimately about.
Or, put another way, maybe it is a dysfunctional domestic drama, but in a really terrible, horror movie way, as we slowly witness Jack uncover some dark family secrets, while gradually questioning his sanity…

Dekker (who also wrote the screenplay, and is perhaps best known as the TV John Connor) ropes in some noteworthy genre names here, including Daveigh Chase, Natasha Lyonne (who appears in a brief, single scene), and Britt Robertson (who’d worked with Dekker previously on the short-lived The Secret Circle).
But the genre coup here is, without a doubt, Lin Shaye, who appears as Jack’s mother, Teresa.
And, oddly enough, while Dekker is also credited as one of the film’s producers, who do we see credited as an Executive Producer but Uwe Boll (!).

Parting Shot:
I honestly did not recognize Daveigh Chase here, until the end credits rolled…
So, yeah, Samantha Darko (Sparkle Motion, go!!!) and Samara, in the house!
And speaking of, 15th anniversary of Donnie Darko! Huzzah!

(Jack Goes Home OS courtesy of

Candidate #3

(October 2016)

There's something to be said for well-crafted traditional horror cinema and Mike Flanagan’s Ouija: Origin of Evil, is certainly that.

A prequel to Stiles White’s Ouija--the 2014 film based on the Hasbro game (which I never got to watch)--Origin of Evil follows the Zander women, mother Alice (Elizabeth Reaser), her high school daughter Lina (Annalise Basso, who also featured in Flanagan’s Oculus), and 9-year-old Doris (Lulu Wilson), as they try and get by in Los Angeles, 1967, after the loss of their husband and father.
Alice’s business name is “Madame Zander,” and she and her daughters perform a community service by giving their clients closure through faux séances, or at least, that’s what Alice tells herself and her children.
Things go awry of course (because let’s face it, they have to, given that this is a horror movie) when Alice purchases a (gasp!) Ouija board.
The premise sounds dopey as hell, but Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard (who also tag teamed on the screenplays for Flanagan’s Oculus and Before I Wake) wring it for all the creeptasticness they can muster.

Parting Shot:
Oh, and look! Doug Jones and Elliott, errr, I mean Henry Thomas, are in it too!

(Ouija: Origin of Evil OS courtesy of

Friday, November 25, 2016

Candidate #2

(October 2016)

"Do 'ya sense it?
"Something is coming.
"A strange vessel headed for the cove…”

What do you get when you take alumni from Twin Peaks (Harley Peyton) and Hannibal (Nick Antosca), and the son of noted director John Landis (Max), toss them into a wild, creatively horrific blender, then sprinkle the goo that’s left onto a heap of steaming Creepypasta?
You get the highly unsettling Channel Zero: Candle Cove.

This is the kind of TV horror we desperately need, the kind that never forgets that horror isn’t just about jump scares and on-screen gore; that it’s also about tone and atmosphere.
Craig William Macneill (who directed all six episodes) certainly understands this, and now, based on what I saw on Candle Cove, I feel the need to check out his feature, The Boy (the one with David Morse and Rainn Wilson).

This is the first time the post-BSG SyFy has come up with a winner of this caliber. (The fact that Channel Zero isn’t even science fiction, but a horror anthology,  is another conversation entirely.)
So looking forward to Season 2, based on “The No-End House.”

“A fire needs fuel.
“Power demands sacrifice.
“I made mine a long time ago.”

(Channel Zero OS courtesy of

Candidate #1

(March 2016)

"There's nothing a man cannot do once he accepts the fact that there is no God.”

After teaming up with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures on the Evil Dead remake, Fede Alvarez again works under Raimi’s auspices on the taut and twisted little motherf*cker known as Don’t Breathe.
Written by Alvarez and his Evil Dead co-writer Rodo Sayagues, and co-opting both the star (Jane Levy) and composer (Roque Baños) of same, Don’t Breathe is the vicious tale of three young thieves who pick the wroooong house to break into.
Alvarez displays masterful control of tension and space/setting here, taking along familiar genre faces like Dylan Minnette and Stephen Lang along for the ride.

(Don’t Breathe OS’ courtesy of &

Monday, November 14, 2016


NovKon is nigh!
This coming weekend, November 19 & 20, at the Bayanihan Center on Pioneer.

Saturday, Nov 19 - 10AM to 8PM
Sunday, Nov 20 - 11AM to 7PM

And here's the Alamat/'Verse table (click to embiggen):

In case you missed the earlier posts, there'll be SIX new releases at NovKon: Batch 1 is here, and Batch 2 is here.

As always, we'll have discounted 'Verse packs, among them, a 2016 NovKon Awesome Six-Pack!, which includes all 6 new releases for P300. 

Set the dates: November 19 & 20, at the Bayanihan Center on Pioneer.

Hope to see all you mighty fine folk at NovKon this weekend!
#komikonPH #Komikon2016

you can’t drink just six,


Saturday, November 5, 2016


Yes, three more issues launching at this year's NovKon (which is, by the way, a mere two weeks away!)...


DAKILA: Kadena
Issue 1 (of 3)
By David Hontiveros and Patrick Flores

Your name is Brandon Ramirez and you’ve been a geek your whole life: comics, movies, RPGs, cosplay.

And now you’re officially the world’s first superhero, as evidenced by the cape, the mask, the totally ripped physique, and those crazy-awesome powers.

Higher agencies seem to have conspired to steer you right into that skintight outfit.

We have only one question:
How’s that working out for you?

Dakila is invited to a special event at Eden Manila, only to discover the dark and vicious secret the amusement park hides beneath the wild rides and the brightly colored mascot costumes.

Issue 1 (of 4)
By David Hontiveros and Gaston S. Garcia

Dakila faces Zalim, a demon that actualized in cyberspace, and is now running a criminal empire in Brazil.
Yuh-huh. A demon that crawled out of the Internet.
Oh noes!

Dakila. 18 years old. Cosmic champion.
All of a sudden, acne and getting a driver’s license are so not a big deal anymore.

URIEL: Hekhalot
Issue 4A (of 4)
By David Hontiveros and Michael Urbano

Uriel is a mighty arel, held in reverence and awe by his fellow arelim, feared and despised by the shedim hordes.
And right now, his fate and existence lie in the hands of his seven-year-old mortal charge, Maleck de los Santos.

The penultimate issue of Hekhalot!
A wounded Uriel faces the maddened kerub Malael in the diabul, while back in the oikoumene, the diabolically swayed Dr. Perez attacks, and Maleck is told that it's time to open the door to the mysterious Room 314...

Aaaand there you go.
That brings the new releases at this year’s NovKon to six! (There may be a 3rd batch, but we’ll need to see what happens in the next few days…)

In the meantime, this is The 1st Batch, in case you missed it the first time.

Set the dates: November 19 & 20, at the Bayanihan Center on Pioneer.

Hope to see all you mighty fine folk at NovKon!
#komikonPH #Komikon2016

you can’t drink just six,


Wednesday, October 5, 2016


We've a little more than a month and a half to go till this year's NovKon, and The 'Verse will be in attendance.
It's a 2 day affair this year, so mark the weekend of November 19 and 20 on your calendars.
We hope to see all you mighty fine folk there, at the Bayanihan Center on Pioneer.
#komikonPH #Komikon2016

While I'm still waiting on a number of other issues that, hopefully, will make it in in time for NovKon, these are the titles that are ready and raring to go. (And send us some good karma so we can get to see more release announcements soon!)

Debuting at this year’s NovKon:

Issues 1 & 2 (of 4)
By David Hontiveros and Romnick Magbanua

While just trying to do the right thing, Dakila runs afoul of the Yokusuru crime family, the same bunch of drilo Kadasig also happens to be looking into.
High flying, fist to jaw, tsinelas to face action follows!

DAKILA: Siyudad
Issue 1 (of 4)
By David Hontiveros and Pyotr Mutuc

It's Halloween and Dakila meets 13-year-old Maleck, who's got a personal mission in the diabul.
Dakila helps the kid out, and, well... stuff happens!
See it to believe it...
So there you go.
Hope to see all you mighty fine folk at NovKon!

you can’t drink just six,


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Rundown of the 13 Best Horror Movies I've Seen in the Past Year
[13 of 13]

(May 2016)

"One morning I woke up and realised I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty. After making Drive and falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles, I knew I had to return to tell the story of The Neon Demon.”
--Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon opens with an artfully posed--and apparently dead--female body, subject to the cold, hard male gaze, and its mechanical extension, the camera.
Much can be gleaned from that single, provocative image regarding some of Refn’s thematic concerns for this, his 10th feature.

“Once you hit 21 in this industry, you’re so irrelevant.”
“Try 20.”

Following Jesse (Elle Fanning), newly arrived in L.A. to try her luck as a fashion model, The Neon Demon--which began its developmental life under the title I Walk with the Dead--is Refn’s first attempt at a horror film, and it certainly is that, albeit a horror film as told through the filter of the NWR aesthetic.

“True beauty is the highest currency we have.
“Now, without it, she would be nothing.”

My first brush with Refn’s work was Fear X, which, honestly, I wasn’t too thrilled about. I had missed his earlier titles, Pusher and Bleeder, as I also subsequently missed the Pusher sequels, and Bronson.
I checked out Valhalla Rising, but again, like Fear X, it didn’t quite take with me.
But Drive changed all that. Drive was the NWR title that solidly kicked my film geek a$$.
And though his follow-up, Only God Forgives, was not as well-received by the wider film critic community, I absolutely loved it.
So when word broke about his next film being a “horror movie/sex thriller,” I was so in.
And now, after a title change and two female co-writers brought on board (British playwright Polly Stenham and Mary Laws, who’s also written for AMC’s Preacher adaptation), here we are, and I am so happy that my film geek love for Refn continues unabated.

“You know what my mother used to call me? ‘Dangerous.’
“‘You’re a dangerous girl.’
“She was right. I am dangerous.”

With familiar genre faces that include Jena Malone and Keanu Reeves (as skeezy dirtbag motel manager, Hank), and another killer Cliff Martinez soundtrack, The Neon Demon is slick, disturbingly erotic, and hallucinatory, much like the fashion industry itself.
It’s about appearances and facades, and the casually cruel nature of the modeling business, where everyone is merely meat, complete with respective expiration dates.

“I can’t sing. I can’t dance. I can’t write. No real talent.
“But I’m pretty… and I can make money off pretty.”

Parting Shot: Given its setting and subject matter, this is a perfect companion piece to ¡Q horror! 2015 title, Starry Eyes.

Parting Shot 2: And so it goes.
Another October and another ¡Q horror! rundown.

A Happy Halloween to everyone, and hopefully, you’ll check out some of these titles for your Halloween viewing.

(The Neon Demon OS’ courtesy of,,, and

A Rundown of the 13 Best Horror Movies I've Seen in the Past Year
[12 of 13]

(March 2016)

All right. Full disclosure.
As far as I was concerned, there was a lot going for this one, all the reasons why I Am Not a Serial Killer was on my film geek radar in the first place (so I’m so glad it did not disappoint).

Max Records was headlining it.
Records was in Spike Jonze’s astounding adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. He was also in Ruairi Robinson’s brilliant short film, Blinky. Hell, Records was even in Rian Johnson’s excellent The Brothers Bloom (though in nowhere near the same headlining capacity of either of the former titles).

Billy O’Brien was directing it.
I may not have been too thrilled with O’Brien’s second feature, The Hybrid (originally titled Scintilla), but his debut, Isolation, was a right doozy!
Which brings us rather neatly back to I Am Not a Serial Killer, because this plus Isolation is more than enough for me to politely overlook The Hybrid.

Based on Dan Wells’ novel--the screenplay is written by O’Brien and Christopher Hyde--Serial Killer follows John Wayne Cleaver (Records), a small town teen whose home life (Cleaver Family Funeral Home!) may have just helped contribute to some troubling sociopathic tendencies.
Thankfully, he’s trying to avoid the messy consequences of succumbing to his darker urges (and possibly even using funeral home chores as a coping mechanism), but some brutal killings soon draw his morbid attention, and things soon get very interesting.

With a curious, wry streak of humor running through it, Serial Killer takes some unexpected twists and turns, on its way to that WTF climax, and a commendably appropriate use of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky.”
With Ruairi Robinson as one of its Executive Producers, and with Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, in its cast, I Am Not a Serial Killer is a title that you really need to check out, if unconventional and surprising horror is your thing…

(I Am Not a Serial Killer OS’ courtesy of &