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Movie Review: Blair Witch
Adam Frazier   |  

Blair Witch Into The Woods first image

Blair Witch
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rated R | 93 Minutes
Release Date: September 16, 2016

Friday, July 30, 1999. My friends and I — high school kids stuck in a rural, one-stoplight town — piled into a car and drove 30 miles to the nearest movie theater to see The Blair Witch Project on opening night. For all we knew it was real; the recovered, reassembled footage of three student filmmakers who ventured into the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland to film a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend. The students were never seen again, and we were about to witness something akin to supernatural snuff — evidence of the strange and inexplicable, the terrifying final moments of three young people.

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SDCC 2016: Adam Wingard’s ‘The Woods’ Is Really ‘Blair Witch,’ Gets Trailer and Poster
BAADASSSSS!   |  

Blair Witch

A new horror film from Adam Wingard, the gifted director of the pulse-racing thrillers You’re Next and The Guest, is already a cause for celebration. But it turns out that his latest feature The Woods, a found-footage fright flick of which not much was known until now, is actually Blair Witch, a sequel to the 1999 minimalist horror classic The Blair Witch Project that became one of the biggest hits of that summer and one of the most profitable independent films ever released.

Lionsgate made the announcement early Friday evening at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con where they showed Blair Witch in full for the first time and marked the occasion by releasing the first trailer, poster, and image with the film’s official title attached. You can check them all out here below.

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The Digital Wire Blu-ray/DVD Release News: For The Week Of 11/11/2014
BAADASSSSS!   |  

Laika Entertainment's The Boxtrolls

For this week’s edition of The Digital Wire we’ve got a slim selection of offbeat titles from the film and television domains, including one influential horror classic. Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon. We would greatly appreciate it if you use those links to order because a small percentage of each order helps keep this website running at max power. The cover art for certain titles has yet to be finalized.

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Streaming Review: V/H/S/2
cGt2099   |  

V/H/S/2 Streaming Review Banner

V/H/S/2 Streaming Cover/Poster - Bloody DisgustingV/H/S/2
Netflix | Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | SEN | Vudu | Xbox | YouTube
DVD | Blu-ray
Directed by Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Huw Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard
Starring Fachry Albar, Oka Antara, Lawrence Michael Levine, Mindy Robinson, Jay Saunders, Adam Wingard
Bloody Disgusting
Originally Released: January 19, 2013

Just in time for Halloween, Netflix has updated its line of horror movies, and I was thrilled to see V/H/S/2 had been added to their selections. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first anthology collection of found-footage horror stories, I was surprised to find that not only is the sequel superior to the original in all senses, but far more skin-crawling and overtly chilling. This is the perfect movie for Halloween!

Like V/H/S, the sequel is a collection of short macabre stories, all depicted in the found-footage style, with an overarching story / frame narrative that takes place in between each story; and actually continues the frame narrative of the first film. In fact, I believe it to be a prequel to that – the original frame narrative is titled “TAPE 56,” while this one is “TAPE 49.”

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Movie Review: You’re Next
Adam Frazier   |  

You're Next Film PosterYou’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz, Ti West
Lionsgate Films
Rated R | 91 Minutes
Release Date: August 23, 2013

Coined by Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, the “Final Girl” is a popular trope in horror films that refers to the last woman alive to fight the killer.

Sally Hardesty from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Ellen Ripley in Alien; Halloween‘s Laurie Strode; Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street – all of these are resilient women who are masculinized through “phallic appropriation” by taking up a weapon, like a knife or chainsaw, against their would-be killer.

The “Final Girl” convention forces the male audience to identify with a female character in a male-oriented genre associated with exploitation, voyeurism, and brutality. Think about horror movies – slasher films in particular – how many of them end with a lone male survivor?

If you haven’t read Clover’s book, I would highly recommend it, as it raises some interesting questions about the nature of horror films and their relationship to feminism. It seems that for a horror film to be successful, it’s necessary for the surviving character to be female – even if she is masculinized.

This brings us to Adam Wingard‘s latest film, You’re Next. Written by Simon Barrett, You’re Next isn’t interested in deconstructing the horror genre or mocking its tropes, but rather reinvigorating them. The “Final Girl” is resurrected in the form of Erin (Sharni Vinson), a survivalist who fights a gang of axe-wielding psychopaths in creepy animal masks.

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Movie Review: V/H/S/2
Adam Frazier   |  

VHS2 PosterV/H/S/2
Director: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener
Screenwriter(s): Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jamie Nash, Jason Eisener, John Davies
Cast: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
Magnet Releasing
Rated R | 96 Minutes
On Demand
Release Date: June 6, 2013

In 2012, Bloody Disgusting and Magnet Releasing collaborated on V/H/S, a horror anthology of found-footage short films directed by some of the genre’s up-and-coming filmmakers including Adam Wingard (You’re Next) and Ti West (House of the Devil).

The film’s central narrative involves a group of young criminals who take a job from an anonymous third party who is willing to pay them a large sum of money to burglarize a home and steal a single VHS videotape. After breaking into the house, the criminals find an old man dead in front of a bank of television sets and VCRs playing white noise. They dig through boxes and boxes of VHS tapes, playing each one, looking for the million-dollar tape.

V/H/S suffers from an overall inconsistency in quality between the found-footage shorts; two are pretty good, one is so-so, and two fail to impress. Despite a weak wrap-around and some not-so-great segments, V/H/S introduces a really interesting premise worth exploring: the power of the VHS tape.

V/H/S/2 (originally titled S-V/H/S) is an across-the-board improvement, with a framing narrative that follows two private detectives as they investigate the disappearance of a college student. Upon entering the kid’s house, they stumble upon a collection of VHS tapes and a makeshift shrine of TVs and VCRs. There are stacks of spiral notebooks; a laptop is nearby, recording video. The investigators discover a video diary from the missing college kid who appears to be a connoisseur of rare VHS tapes.

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Watch This Red Band Trailer For Upcoming Horror Anthology ‘V/H/S/2’
Adam Frazier   |  

V/H/S/2 Banner

From the demented minds that brought you last year’s V/H/S comes V/H/S/2, an all-new anthology of horrific found-footage vignettes. This installment features segments from the makers of Hobo with a Shotgun, You’re Next, The Raid: Redemption, and The Blair With Project.

You can check out the brand-new red band trailer below!

Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into this abandoned house and find a collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying, unspeakable motives behind the student’s disappearance.

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SXSW 2013 Movie Review: Adam Wingard’s You’re Next
Adam Frazier   |  

SXSW You're Next

You’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz, Ti West

Synopsis: One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, You’re Next reinvents the genre by putting a fresh twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped… until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.Lionsgate

Directed by Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S), You’re Next had its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival only to collect dust on a shelf for two years. Luckily, after a successful screening at this year’s South by Southwest film Festival, Wingard’s home-invasion horror flick will be released by Lionsgate in August.

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SXSW 2013 Movie Review: Joe Swanberg’s ‘Drinking Buddies’
Adam Frazier   |  

Anna Kendrick

Drinking Buddies
Director: Joe Swanberg
Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jason Sudeikis, Ti West

Directed by Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs), Drinking Buddies follows the complicated friendship of Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), who work together at a craft brewery. As friends, they’re way too close – it’s obvious there’s something more there, but Kate is dating Chris (Ron Livingston) and Luke is with all-around good girl Jill (Anna Kendrick).

The two couples go on a weekend getaway together and things get even more problematic when Jill and Chris go on a hike and find themselves romantically entangled. Meanwhile, Kate and Luke flirt while playing cards and get cozy on the beach. Without giving away the intricacies of the narrative, the four characters struggle to balance their romantic relationships and platonic friendships with the opposite sex – some with success, others with disastrous results.

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SXSW Film Festival Announces 2013 Midnight Features and Shorts
Adam Frazier   |  

S-V/H/S as part of SXSW Midnighters

The Midnight Features and Shorts Programs for this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival have just been announced! For 20 years, the SXSW Midnighters section has embraced genre filmmaking from veterans and rookies alike, and this year continues that glorious tradition. Including four World Premieres, three U.S. Premieres, the nine films picked to guide SXSW audiences into the darkness offer an assortment of filmmaking styles and span the gamut of of genre storytelling.

This will be my third year attending the South by Southwest Film Festival and this year’s lineup of Midnight Features looks fantastic. In previous years, the lineup has included movies like Attack the Block, Kill List, The Innkeepers, Iron Sky, John Dies at the End, and V/H/S – and I can’t wait to stand in line for two hours (hopefully not in the rain this year!) and enjoy these late night genre flicks! Here are some of the Midnight Features I’m most excited about:

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