Halloween

SAW: LEGACY [VIII] Plot Details Revealed?

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Imagine with me for a moment: a film series that has lasted seven films, with the seventh being called “The Final Chapter”, but somehow; another sequel was on the way. Impossible? Not quite. At least, not for the SAW franchise, because sometime next year [presumably around Halloween] we are getting another sequel/addition to this seemingly never ending cycle of films. The question on everyone’s mind though is if it is a sequel, a reboot, or a continuation; because with a title like SAW: LEGACY, it does not tell us much. It is no surprise that rumors and secrets circle this film because this is not the first time I have written about this sequel, just look at the SAW VIII tag on warrenisweird but today, I have a new exciting development to add to this tag: plot details..At least, that’s what they are being called since we have zero knowledge about this new film as far as trailers/screenshots/anything.

According to sources, SAW: Legacy is going to begin with bodies turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely and gruesome end. [No doubt as a result of their “tests”] But as the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But as fans know, this is impossible.. The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade[see SAW III] Could it be that another apprentice has begun his/her version of the works of Jigsaw, or perhaps even someone within the investigation? Before people start jumping on the bandwagon of [spoiler] Hoffman surviving the sequence at the end of The Final Chapter, it’s also noted that Costas Mandylor [who played Hoffman] or Cary Elwes [who played Doctor Gordon] will not be returning to play their respective characters, who [spoiler] both ended up becoming apprentices of Jigsaw in previous installments. As for the original Jigsaw, it is rumored that Tobin Bell will be back in some way, shape, or form. [Don’t be too surprised if it is only through flashback sequences]

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I guess what I am trying to say is that I am feeling the same way as most people in the horror community: just what the hell is SAW: LEGACY going to be about, and what could the story arc follow? Personally, I want to know what Doctor Gordon was doing after the end of the “Last” SAW film; but if he is not set to star in this film – it raises even more questions: is this “new” Jigsaw a copycat? A new apprentice? Another cop? Or maybe someone new we have yet to know anything about. Let me know who You think it could be in the comments below, and if You are not sure who to guess; let me know if You are looking forward to another SAW film!


As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 170+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review [usually] coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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THANKS FOR READING.

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a CAT Dressed as ASH from “EVIL DEAD” just won Halloween 2016

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We’re two days away from Halloween and I have to say: I still haven’t figured out a costume! I know, but between re-watching The Walking Dead series with Steph [we just started season 3!] and work, we’ve been kind of busy. However, none of that matters because someone just won best costume of the year – and it’s arguably the grooviest costume I’ve ever seen..oh, did I forget to mention that this costume is on a cat?

Before we get into the details, I want to start by saying I don’t mean to ruin the fun for all you fellow cat parents out there – Steph and I have two – but I’m pretty confident in saying that cats most likely hate being dressed up for Halloween. Of course, don’t get me wrong, we pet owners find it adorable when we put shark fins on their heads or put little coats on them, but the scratches and bite marks I’ve received over the years that have turned into scars seem to give reason that they’re not having as much fun as we are – contrary to what we may tell ourselves..

That being said, thanks to the people over on Twitter under the account name Cat Cosplay, who work with [as they put it] “trained cat models”, we get to see many cats pull off some of the craziest cat photoshoots you’ve ever seen – or thought of – and for Halloween this year, they’re going all out: including dressing up one of those “furbabies” [as Steph calls them] up as one of the most popular horror icons of all: The Evil Dead franchise’s very own Deadite-slayer, Ash Williams [but if you clicked on this, then you knew that already] and yes, thanks to a well crafted fake arm, they even gave this little cutie his own chainsaw hand! HOLY HELL. I cannot get over the cleverness of this costume, and it makes me want to makeshift the same kind of costume for my cats, though I can only take so many “cat-attacks..”

HAIL TO THE CAT as they say, and check out the remaining four photos from the photo shoot below.

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You really have to hand it to the cat for being so calm and collected during these photoshoots, I know for a fact that if I even tried, I would get attacked. Be sure to follow Cat_Cosplay on Twitter for more cat photos, and let me know in a comment below which one was your favorite! Be sure to also go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 170+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review [usually] posted the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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[well actually Ash, it’s a cat in those pictures..]

THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 06: SAW VI [2009]

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This is it everyone, the beginning of the end. With the second last SAW film we have more traps, more choices, and more death. I mean, what else could you expect with this series? Thankfully, today’s sequel – SAW VI isn’t all that bad. It does dive a bit further/continues John Kramer‘s background story though, so expect more flashbacks. In this sixth installment, the series gets political, decidedly pointing a finger at the health care system. As the movie shows us, Insurance Companies aren’t always fair, especially to those that cannot afford it. So are you ready to play a game? Let’s look at the “beginning of the end” in SAW VI – which starts right after SAW V.

John/Jigsaw’s latest “game” focuses on a man named William, a guy who seems to be a big deal at an Insurance Company. He is also the man who personally declined John the coverage necessary to try and find a cure for his cancer. [bad move there, William!] Before you jump to conclusions, this is not a personal attack; because it turns out that John isn’t the only individual William denied the chance to live. The way William sees it is by following a “formula” that takes into account a person’s health, age, history and everything.. except their will to live. [coincidentally, isn’t that what John looks for?] Not finding himself in line with Jigsaw’s “way of things”, and William suddenly finds himself at the center of a series of traps requiring him to decide whether someone else will survive or die.What makes this sequel interesting is that logically, William can hide behind his desk when it comes to Insurance, but in the world of SAW, William is forced to suffer the consequences of his actions by watching the denied die.. Damn Jigsaw, that’s pretty extreme, even for you!

Now before you ask how this is all possible, seeing as John died three movies ago, keep in mind that John is still the man with the [big] plan, but he isn’t the one putting it into motion. That job went to Detective Hoffman. Carrying out John’s dying wishes is a big deal, but Hoffman also has to keep an eye on the FBI agents who are getting dangerously close to uncovering his secret. [He still “works” for them at this point]

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What makes SAW VI better than the last group of films is that also holds plenty of references to the previous films that will go completely over the unfamiliar watcher’s head, so if you fall under the “I haven’t watched many SAW films” category, your primary source of entertainment is what is going on with William, and holy damn can it get suspenseful.. Not only are the blood and guts flowing – as usual – but the traps that unleash the carnage will make you cringe. [just look at that breathing trap above!] The violence and brutality shown in the SAW movies is nothing new, but what makes the franchise stand out from the rest is the mind-boggling mental aspect. What would you do if you were in that situation? SAW is not about catching the audience off guard, it’s about knowing what is coming, which makes the circumstances of the “game” far more terrifying.

Now, it’s important to note that while I’m very familiar with the SAW movies – I’ve seen them all a multiple amount of times – in no sense do I consider myself a franchise expert. My knowledge of the smaller details are few and far between and my devotion to the series only comes with the fact that I tend to watch one [or more] SAW film during Halloween. I’m sure many would agree that none of the SAW movies compare to the genius of the first, so watching SAW has slowly become more of a leisure activity than a meaningful movie-going experience. However, with that being said, I do enjoy SAW VI very much. Without spoiling too much, fans will be glad to know that Tobin Bell is back as Jigsaw, as so is Shawnee Smith, as Amanda, who has a major secret to share. This is refreshing after Jigsaw being almost entirely absent in the fifth film.

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SAW VI is far from perfect and not nearly as good as the first film, but writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton put together a tight script, especially compared to their work on the fourth and fifth films. The story is wonderfully written into the overall story, the traps [like the carousal trap above] are unique again, [finally!] and Hoffman is still a badass – though I still dislike him. These elements will help pull in the fans led astray by the “not so good” films from before, and also bring in new recruits to join in on the bloody fun that is SAW. The flashbacks and other elements from the series are enough to impress the devoted fans but they also don’t detract from the general pace of the film. This is nice because it allows novices to the franchise to get a satisfying horror film as well. So basically, watch this if you enjoy the series as a whole, because if you don’t have a desire to see victims ripped limb-from-limb, cut in half and watch their insides spill out onto the floor, you should probably avoid SAW VI at all costs.. The other real complaint I have is that once again, you can expect a HUGE cliffhanger.

HOW WILL THIS FRANCHISE “END” ? JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN WE COMPLETE SAW-TOBER WITH #07: SAW VII: THE FINAL CHAPTER!

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are you like me and enjoy SAW VI? What about Hoffman? Is he a worthy successor to John, or just a regular murderer? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this review, and are looking for more, go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

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THANKS FOR READING.

SAW-TOBER PART 04: SAW IV [2007]

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FINALLY: seeing as I am reviewing each and every SAW film in the franchise, I have been waiting to review today’s sequel: SAW IV and before you ask why, I think you already know – it is probably my favorite in the series. [At least, it is pretty close to the top of the list] Lets start with the obvious, you can expect a few things from a SAW movie: there will be blood [and gore] – and a lot of it. One thing that I have always admired about this franchise is that it definitely does not hold back on that gore factor, which is kind of nice for us horror fans who seems to be living in an era where so many horror films aim for a PG-13 rating, to gather a larger crowd. But with SAW, you can always expect indulgent traps – which usually are planned out mechanisms that are timed perfectly to deliver the final killing blow to the [poor] victim at just the right time. There is almost always those hyper-edited sequences [that I have grown to dislike] during the suspenseful moments, leading into some sort of dizzying wrap up sequence that explains all the twists and turns of the movie by replaying the last hour and a half in just under two minutes. Yet, somehow, the SAW movies are a fun form of horror entertainment. OKAY, with that said, lets get on with the actual movie review!

SAW IV opens with some coroners performing an autopsy on Jigsaw himself [remember, he did end up dying at the end of the last film] To keep you from any lingering doubt of his death, the first gory scene of the movie isn’t during a trap! It actually comes from watching Jigsaw’s skull and chest cavity being opened up in a graphic yet fairly precise sequence. [what makes this scene even cooler is the use of black and whites on his body/the table he’s on/the background, but his blood is a dark red] Eventually this autopsy leads to the beginning of the movie’s plot: a mini-cassette tape is found inside the corpse that proves that, although the killer is dead, the games are not.

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This time around, the action follows [my favorite] Detective Rigg, who has survived through life as a supporting character in the previous two SAW films only to become the newest target of Jigsaw’s game himself. While Rigg is off dealing with a gambit of traps and games, two other FBI agents are on a separate course, attempting to figure out how Jigsaw could possibly be still operating; considering the fact that he currently is not alive and Amanda is also dead. The solution is simple: Jigsaw had more than one helper, which means the [other] remaining “helper” is still out there – on the loose!

Now, this installment will have standard SAW fans a little disappointed because although they are there, the traps and gore seem to take a bit of a back seat. Instead, we get storytelling and exposition. Believe it or not though, that’s what I liked about this sequel. Seriously. Instead of just laying on the traps, and a quick explanation that these traps mirror the moral shortcomings of those involved, SAW IV gives us a glimpse behind the method and madness of Jigsaw and explains how the killer was “created.” What made this so special [and important] was the fact that the story doesn’t take away the mystery of Jigsaw, but rather explains how a brilliant architect named John became the killer he is [was?], thus expanding on the mythology around Jigsaw, as a character.

These flashbacks do a brilliant job of explaining Jigsaw’s complicated past [thanks to the FBI agents who were interrogating his ex-wife Jill – she becomes important in later films!] and they intertwine nearly perfectly with Rigg’s story-line. Instead of being placed in different traps, [like Jigsaw’s usual set of victims] Rigg is shown and exposed to other victims in traps. Sometimes, he is even forced to put them in the traps after seeing the killer’s reasoning behind why he picked certain people. It’s an interesting way to give a look to the audience and the detective, although don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t make some of the traps any less disturbing. Some of the traps made me cringe, but that’s because I have this problem where I imagine myself in that situation..

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If I had to point out one thing that I wasn’t too fond of, it is the way the writers feel the need to point out that Rigg is being lured into learning from Jigsaw’s mentality. I get why they said it but in this particular case, that sort of thing should have been left unsaid; yet the FBI Agents mention it as part of their investigation at nearly every damned crime scene. Again, I understand it, it just gets frustrating. On a more positive note though:

then there is my favorite part – that ending! Remember Detective Matthews from SAW II? Well, as it turns out, he is still alive [granted, only barely] and being kept on an ice block which in itself is a trap – if it melts, Matthews dies – which we cannot have happening, right? well, this happens to our fabled Detective at the end of the film [spoilers, obviously] and thus ends the life of yet another cop. The ending also reveals who the “other Jigsaw helper” is: none other than Detective Hoffman, who stands proud and tall at the end of SAW IV, knowing he is the successor of John Kramer.

As far as SAW movies go, SAW IV is probably one of the better in the series, hence why I consider it one of my favorites. Although the plot-heavy story arc might turn those who look to the franchise just for the interesting slayings away, I have always been interested by the justification given by Jigsaw and what he offers for his killing[s]. I like to believe that it’s great to see his background expanded without giving away too much about the character to a point where there’s no surprises anymore. What I personally liked about SAW IV is that now the franchise is evolving and not just giving us – the viewer – the exact same formula/movie every year..

Now I turn to You – the reader. Did You like SAW IV? Or did the storytelling get too boring for you? What other opinions do you have on the series? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this review, and are looking for more, go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

JOIN ME TOMORROW WHEN I SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT IN THE SAW SERIES: WITH SAW-TOBER #05: SAW V.

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Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

THANKS FOR READING.

NOW YOU CAN FEND OFF VAMPIRES WITH JAPAN’S NEW Doritos FLAVOR

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When you visit warrenisweird, what do you enjoy reading the most? Upcoming horror news? Maybe the occasional movie review? Well this post is going to be a little different than usual because today, while we are talking something horror/Halloween related – we are talking food..specifically, Doritos. From Japan. [wait, what?]

Yes. Leave it to Japan to – once again – give us food and snacks that we didn’t know we needed in our lives: in this case, it is a vampire defense system and packaged as a brand-new type of a chip that I used to eat all the time during my childhood. But this is not the friendly Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese flavors that came before; no, this new flavor  is all powerful garlic, and because Halloween, they are stained an charcoal black to give it that “scary factor.” Hopefully I am not getting you too excited, because unfortunately, there’s no word of this product being sold outside of Japan. But they are available to be ordered on napaJapan – though quanities might be limited! Or, if you want to track down someone in Japan to send you some, there’s actually an app that does just that; though use this method at your own risk! I guess you also want to see the chip bag in all its glory, don’t you? As expected, the bag has imagery of a vampire, a spooky castle and some bats.

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Naturally, like any other garlic product, after eating these, your breath should ward off any and all vampires who come your way.. and probably everyone else around you, though don’t worry: Refinery29 has a quick remedy for that.

Naturally, like all things obscure and weird, I would love to try these chips – I’m strongly considering ordering some from napaJapan in order to try and possibly review them on here! I know this post was fairly short and to the point, especially considering the length of some of the other posts I write, but I have been busy with work, [For those that do not know/are new to my blog] and college 2017 prep. I am applying to College this upcoming week, and have been working a lot to prepare for that. Between two jobs and that, I have not had much time to sit and write. [most of my “sit down and relax” time is spent sleeping or watching Netflix actually] For the ones who are waiting for Weirdo’ween 2016, I am not going to be writing a review a day [like last year] but instead only a few reviews over the span of October – with one coming up tonight! [STAY TUNED] But let’s back up, where were we?

Now I turn to You – the reader. Are You interested in Black Doritos? Why or why not? Maybe you’re a huge fan of Garlic and are curious about this “version” of a classic type of chip; or maybe – like myself – you like new things, and find yourself curious.. Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this list; go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

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THANKS FOR READING.

Get Out The Red Crayons, A Horror-Themed Coloring Book Is Being Released!

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Over the last few years, adult coloring books have gained enormous popularity around the world. For good reason, often seen as relaxing and therapeutic, these books are something I would never have dreamed of. There’s even different themed books, from Harry Potter to Animal Kingdoms; it really all depends what your inner child is calling for. Well, if your ‘inner child’ is like mine – Wednesday Addams – you’re probably wondering where the horror themed coloring book is. I’m here to help you with that, as lately, I’ve been counting down the days until I [and you readers at home] can get your hands on your very own copy of “The Beauty Of Horror” and yes, it’s sooner than we could have ever hoped!

Currently scheduled for an early Halloween release, [October 11th, 2016] The Beauty Of Horror: A GOREgeous Coloring Book” is the creation of Horror Comic Award winner and Life Of Agony Bassist Alan Robert.  When asked where the idea of the book came from, Roberts says: “Bookstores are filled with coloring books for adults, but there’s a huge void for the kind of creepy art that horror fans like me want to color, so I decided to create my own, the world needs a book like this to cut through the mandalas! It’s art therapy for the abnormal…and trust me, there are plenty of us.”

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I’m inclined to agree. Even Stephanie – my wife –  has her own coloring book [she has the Animal Kingdom copy above!] and while I enjoy coloring in the lines as well, it isn’t my “theme” of choice. With The Beauty Of Horror coming out in a few months, I can safely say that I have found my muse! Inside The Beauty Of Horror, is intricate hand drawn, pen and ink illustrations by Robert himself that take the color enthusiast on a twisted journey through bizarre carnivals, the zombie apocalypse, serial killer lairs, and haunted burial grounds! Long time horror fans [and newcomers] will find themselves welcoming this “GORE-geous” and creative blood-soaked alternative into their coloring library. I know it has a place on my shelf! Below, because I genuinely am excited for this book, I have shared a few of the [total 80] pages you can expect to color inside! Have a favorite?

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So what I’m trying to say is, I’m pretty damn excited to color in some zombies and castles.. [that spider above looks fun!] As mentioned on the picture above, The Beauty Of Horror is available for pre-order now. If you’re planning to wait until it’s released before buying, think positive: at least you won’t be waiting long!

Today’s question is a simple one: do You plan on ordering/buying a copy of The Beauty Of Horror? Maybe, like me, you’re over excited to be able to color some zombies! Or maybe, you much prefer to watch the zombies on screen rather than on paper? Let me know in the comments! As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

THANKS FOR READING.

IF IT’S HALLOWEEN, IT MUST BE SAW: LEGACY [“Saw VIII” Release Date!]

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A while ago [as in “February 2nd, 2016 while ago”] I wrote about how it seemed that Saw VIII was going into production under the name Saw: Legacy[There’s already an IMDb page set up for it!] The thing is though, we know nothing about it: Could it be is it a sequel? Maybe a reboot, or some kind of spin-off, and while we – the heavyhearted fans – wait for more information to be released, we do at least have an official release date; and I’m telling you, it’s a familiar one.

“If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw.” Sound familiar? It should, because for many years, the Saw franchise released a new sequel every year around Halloween – to the point of it becoming a tradition, so with the new film coming our way October 27th, 2017: just four days before next Halloween feels pretty right to us horror fans. It feels like it’s welcoming the franchise home, and I like that feeling. a lot. This news comes to us from Movie Pilot, who says that IATSE 873 – a technical union based in Toronto – posted a notice about Saw: Legacy, and that it will be filming from September 12th through October 21st 2017. From the union’s forms, we can see that Dan Heffner and Oren Koules [who have been on board for all the previous installments of Saw to date] are listed as producers. A Director though, hasn’t been chosen yet, but all in due time.

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[I quite enjoy the fact that the company is “Tricycle Productions“]

Last we heard, Lionsgate hired Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger to write up the screenplay, and series co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell will, naturally, be returning to produce the new film. It’s pretty crazy to consider that it’s already been six years since we had our last Saw experience in a theater with the less than perfect Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. With this upcoming October marking the 10th anniversary of Saw III, it seems appropriate to revisit Saw: Legacy, especially now since some exciting news has come up. Not only is the film actually happening; it’s happening a lot sooner than we might have initially thought. So I guess what I’m really trying to say is, whether or not you want it to happen, we are getting [yet another] Saw film! I’m personally both excited and nervous, because The “Final” Chapter – as I mentioned slightly above – wasn’t my favorite in the franchise [and definitely wasn’t the best way to “end” a series..] but I’m skeptical – I just don’t want this to be another case of sequelitis..even if it feels like it already has.. But could this film be the “true” end? What do you think about having a new Saw films come to theaters, let alone so quickly?

As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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God I’ve missed you, Billy

THANKS FOR READING.

warrenisweird’s TOP 05 MASKS in horror movies

top5masksNow that Halloween has ended, [and so has weirdo’ween] one of the things I can talk about now is my love for masks. It’s become one of – if not the single most obvious – facts of horror movies: when you hide the face of the killer behind a mask: the fear, terror, and inhumanity goes through the roof. Sometimes, the mask itself becomes a legend, and turns into the stuff of nightmares for entire groups of people.. Sometimes, they’re used in order to hide the killer’s identity, while other times they hide a disfigured face underneath. Other times, well, let’s be honest: the production team just thought it’d look cool on screen. The idea is that it’s what hides beneath that’s scary, but a good horror movie mask is frightening in its own right.

As you could probably expect, there’s clearly many different types of masks – for different movies. I couldn’t help but think of some of the more memorable masked killers in film. Everybody knows the big name contenders, guys like Jason Voorhees, Michael MyersLeatherface and Ghostface. But if you were to dig a little deeper, you’ll find plenty of fearsome faces, and chances are – you saw a few of these on Halloween.  So let’s look into it: a list of my personal top five favorite masks in horror, and why I like them. Also, because characters like Jason, Myers, Leatherface and Ghostface are extremely recognizable – and I’m planning on going the unique route today – they will not be featured on this list; even if I am a fan of their masks as well.

the wind up frog:

as worn by: Dr Hargreaves in The Abominable Dr Phibes:

Even if this frog mask isn’t that scary to look at, it’s what it does that gives it a sinister presence on this list. Rather than being used as a disguise for the killer, like most of the masks on this list will incorporate, this particular mask is designed for a victim: the way it works, is that it has a built-in mechanism causes the mask to tighten [around the head] until it crushes the skull of the one who wears it. Think of it as an early Reverse Bear Trap..kinda.


Vernon‘s mask:

as worn by: Leslie Vernon in Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon

[First and foremost, if you haven’t seen this movie – get on that!] Leslie Vernon knows better than most about how important a good serial killing mask is: he’s studied the classics and is working on building his own serial killer story. I’m a huge fan of the sunken in eyes, and the deeply cut mouth. Not to mention he chose a great shade of greenish-grey for the mask itself!


the bunny mask:

as worn by: Frank in Donnie Darko

Although not technically a killer in the movie, but Frank more or less pressures Donnie into committing all the crimes he did, so I think that counts for something. Imagine seeing that looking back at you from inside the mirror: you’d probably never want to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night again!


the haunted mask:

as worn by: Carly Beth in Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask

While  not the scariest thing ever anymore, this specific mask used to scare the hell out of me. Besides the obvious fanged grin, I was always terrified by the idea that the mask would attach itself to Carly Beth‘s face; and not want to be removed. If it wasn’t creepy enough, they made the TV version [as seen above] into a two-part episode – making you wait to see if the characters ever got it off.


Tomás‘ mask:

as worn by: Tomás in The Orphanage

Let’s get one thing straight: kids in horror movies are already creepy. In the case of The Orphanage though, it really steps the game up by having one of the kids [Simón] claims to be seeing a ghostly child who is only ever seen wearing a bag-like mask with rosy-red cheeks and darkened eyes.  It gets depressing when you realize that the other children stole a mask that he wore to in order to hide his deformed face.


Now clearly these are just five of so many masks that have been featured in horror films. There’s creepy ones, but a lot of them have psychological reasoning behind them [okay, maybe not the wind up frog] which makes them more interesting than anything. Which mask was your favorite? Was it mentioned on this list? Maybe you had a different one in mind? If different, which one is it and why? I’d love to discuss the many styles of them, and who knows – Maybe this post gave you an idea for next Halloween!

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this film review, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – only 10 more and we’ll have reached over 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #31: Trick ‘r Treat [2007]

weirdoween2015Well, it’s official: this review marks the finale weirdo’ween post for 2015! We’ve reviewed all sorts of movies over this past month, and even though I tried to look at films I haven’t talked about before; some obviously overlapped. Today though, our review is special, being one that I had in mind since I did the first review for weirdo’ween. It’s a movie that I consider the definitive Halloween movie, and I try and make a point of watching it every year. [although I can’t tonight because I have plans, plus I work] It’s an anthology film, with four stories interwoven into one big “super-story”. It has demon children, werewolves, and even the little spirit of Halloween himself. So let us move on to the one, the only: Trick ‘r Treat.

weirdo'ween-#31As I said, Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology which interweaves stories that all take place on Halloween night, kind of like genre classics as Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside. Our stories involve: a costumed couple who learn to respect tradition.. the hard way, a group of girls who head out into the woods for a “howling” good party, the school principal has a [literal] taste for blood, four kids attempt to play a “trick” on someone they know – only to end up becoming “treats”, and a grumpy old man gets a visit from a holiday visitor who has been looking to settle a decades-old grudge.

Like most anthology films, these stories are best watched when viewed on an empty mind. Without any context. The twists are less predictable than most horror films are these days; and half the fun is wondering just where – and how – the hell these characters are going to end up. Keep an eye open though, the one constant throughout the stories is a costumed, little guy named Sam, who appears to come off as the Spirit of Halloween, in order to remind people why they should take care in following the traditions set forth hundreds of years ago for All Hallows Eve. Trick ‘r Treat is filled with tradition, reminding the audience of just why we celebrate the Halloween in the first place. It manages to be effectively creepy and blood-soaked, yet it never goes over-the-top with gratuitous gore. It’s always “just enough”, which I love about it! There is also a very obvious helping of black comedy laced throughout the film, so if it feels like too much – which it really isn’t – there’s enough jokes to keep you laughing.

But, I think the most impressive aspect of this film is the filmmaker’s incredible attention that has been paid to detail. Every single shot of the film is beautifully framed and composed, coming off as looking more like a cryptic painting we’re meant to decipher, rather than a frame of film. The dark and broody look of Mr. Kreeg‘s dark house, the ghostly palette of the rock quarry, the incredible werewolf shape-shifting sequence around a roaring fire in the woods.. everything in this movie feels, and is gorgeous. The cinematography is so well put together, that it manages to make you feel like you’re a part of the celebration; and not just someone watching on. As someone who is as big a fan of the Halloween holiday, this was especially important, and it was done right! It’s been far too often when a film actually does take place on the holiday but ends up lacking the depth that is given to us here. and then there’s the cast of the movie..

For such a large ensemble cast, there isn’t any one performance that stands out above the rest – everyone here is perfect. From characters such as Anna Paquin‘s “virgin wolf” of her female group, to perhaps my favorite role of Mr. Kreeg, played really well by veteran character actor Brian Cox. His look was even inspired directly from another person known for horror, John Carpenter, and there are a couple of well-placed nods to his work that were fun, so long as you caught them. Also providing great support throughout the film is newcomer Quinn Lord who plays Sam, our little sack-headed fiend who “stiches” the film’s stories together.

But let’s face the real problem with this movie. It isn’t that it has too many jump scares, or that it’s a terrible film but something more meta: there was NO set distribution deal lined up when it was first released. Initially, it was set to be released in October 2007, then it was pushed to February 2008, then October 2008 and, then finally, placed on the shelf indefinitely. Eventually, in Canada anyway, it ended up being a direct-to-DVD release in October 2009, which I can only say that is disappointing for something this genuine to it’s genre. I mean, that’s two years after the movie was made.. But, I suppose that’s what the problem is; because this is a movie that goes to uncharted territory, the studios were probably clueless about how they were going to try and market it to the public. I mean, I guess I can understand some of their hesitation, [since a good majority of the film features children either killing or being killed] but knowing they waited two years after the movie was made to release it, makes me upset..especially because for the fans: that feels like it took itself an eternity.The bottom line is, I still don’t completely understand why Trick ‘r Treat didn’t get a theatrical release, and I probably never will, but even if it was a direct-to-DVD title, it deserves some much-deserved exposure. The only disappointment here is in the bonus features, where they’re almost none, but the film itself is good enough to make up for it. If only I wasn’t working tonight, I’d take advantage of today to watch it again on this Halloween night, with a Jack-o-lantern lit and bowl of candy at the ready – just in case.

So now I turn to you, what are your thoughts on Trick ‘r Treat? Have you seen the movie? If so, what were your thoughts; mindless Halloween film, or one of the greats? Let me know in a comment or two! As noted by the big “#31” at the top title, this is the last weirdo’ween post so be sure to check out the other reviews I wrote during this month! Also – for those in the know, the universe of Trick ‘r Treat recently expanded with the publication of the graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days Of The Dead, and it was while discussing the book with the series creator that we learned some key details about the upcoming sequel: Trick ‘r Treat 2. Director Michael Dougherty was hesitant to offer too much information, but he did explain that a big part of his goal with the sequel is to dive further into the history of Halloween.

But, If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more in the future – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 125+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

always check your candy!

So have an awesome Halloween everyone, be safe, be smart, and keep an eye out for Sam; he could be anywhere. I hope you enjoyed Weirdo’ween as much as I enjoyed writing it. As expected with this being the last review of this month, posts won’t be as frequent now, coming out every other day or so. Especially with work, I’m going to be caught up feeling slightly more busy, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone for good; just that I won’t be writing something every day. I’m not entirely sure when my next post will be, but hopefully it’ll be sooner than later; and it won’t be a review either – I’ve done enough of those for now 😉

STAY WEIRD, and as always:

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #25: Sinister [2012]

weirdoween2015In today’s review, we talk about a movie that I remember putting off seeing because it was another haunting film, not to mention it was done by the same people as all the other haunting movies that had come out recently! I told myself that it was going to be generic, and boring. I groaned, but hey, it’s a horror film. Finally, Stephanie and I watched it, and was it not what either of us expected. at all. I was genuinely, and positively surprised.

Without reading the title can you tell what movie I’m talking about? Let me give you a hint: it involves some killer 8mm tapes, and a family who move into a house where a family was murdered. Nothing? Okay, one more hint: a family of five get hung from a tree outside the family home in the very first scene. No? Okay, fine. Today, ladies and gents, we’re talking about none other than Sinister – a movie that even Robert Ebert somewhat enjoyed..and that’s saying something!

weirdo'ween-#25Sinister follows Ellison, a true crime novelist who is looking to publish a new bestseller novel more than ten years after the release of his first hit book, “Kentucky Blood“. Ellison moves his family [his wife and two young kids] into a house that was once the scene of a horrible crime that left a mother, father, and two children dead, with a third child missing! Upon moving in, Ellison finds a box of super 8 films in the attic. On these tapes are the murders of the family who previously lived in his house and four other murders dating back as far as 1966! I mean, talk about a welcoming gift! It seems that the only connection between the murders is a symbol found in all the videos. With his marriage slowly deteriorating and his children’s behavior becoming increasingly strange, Ellison is feels determined to connect the dots and possibly even solve the string of gruesome murders.. Who knows? Plot for a new book, perhaps?

Anyone who is familiar with the popular ‘scary maze game’ online knows how this kind of thing works: even if you know what is going to happen, you will most likely be scared in the moments leading up to the ‘big scare’. You aren’t scared of what is on the screen, but you’re more likely scared of what is about to be. As expected, this is what we could consider the difference between surprising elements and legitimate horror. If the moments leading up to a jump scare are suspenseful, the actual scare is considered “worth it”. Too many horror movies nowadays have worthwhile jump scares. The thing is though, Sinister is not one of those movies. Sure, it has it’s fair share of jump scares, but after the initial shock and fear you feel, you don’t feel better. It’s as if the scares stick with you [in your mind] and you will go back to being just as tense as you were before the scare. It’s use of fear is really well done, and deserves to be recognized as such. It’s a really tense feeling film – and I love it for that reason!

One of my favorite ways Sinister differs from most modern horror movies is that it actually focuses on it’s plot. Scott Derrickson, the Director, spends just as much time focusing on plot development as he does on scaring us, this is something people need to pick up on. Many modern horror films rely on loud noises to almost make it feel like it’s laughing at you, saying “I’m scary cause you jumped!” but is it? Since the characters are more developed and have more depth in Sinister, we can relate to them that much easier. It almost feels like it’s more of a drama film about family relations than it is a horror movie. We learn so much about each individual, that when something is going to happen to them; or actually does..we feel bad, we grow attached to this characters.

Then you get the actual “behind the scenes” stuff. The technical team on this movie really didnt’ miss a beat. The top-notch effects are always key in a film like this, but the common flaw, especially in the horror genre, falls when people end up overdoing it. CGI and post-production “magic” can certainly advance the narrative when it’s needed, but in this film, old school camera effects, which were done while shooting, enhance the believability of the action; as it’s happening!

Cinematographer Chris Norr used a ton of stationary shots and what felt like Hitchcock‘s slow camera pans, to allow the audience to sense the protagonist’s growing paranoia. The occasional subjective POV angle, where the character looks at the camera, effectively makes us, as the viewer, feel like we’re actually  in the scene. It’s a great effect, and added to the fearful feelings of being scared.

also, the main villain – Buhguul – is creepy. I know I didn’t mention much about him, but just know he’s scary, okay? okay.

So check Sinister out if you – like me – ignored it, figuring it’d be a typical horror film. Because in all truthfulness, it’s really not. It’s something more: it’s genuinely terrifying, with each 8mm tape showing us something more and more scary as the film progresses. I’ve read a lot of complaints about the films end, which I guess I get, but come on guys..I feel like that’s what they were going for. I didn’t end up seeing Sinister 2, so maybe that’s where the ending of this film gets explained better? [if you know, let me know in a comment or two!]

Also, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #26! – so be sure to STAY TUNED!

[and just cause he can, Buugul comes for one final scare at the end of the film! Thanks, pal]

THANKS FOR READING.