October 16, 2016
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Fessenden Recommends THE MIST for Substream’s 31 Days of Halloween

Fessenden recommends Darabont’s THE MIST for Substream’s recurring column, 31 Days of Halloween!  Check out his full post here, which includes gifs, clips and pics.

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The best Halloween film is probably Halloween, now a classic, but when I was little—I guess I was 16 in 1979—I thought Halloween was a strange betrayal of the kinds of movies I liked—the ones with grit, like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night Of The Living Dead, that really were about ordinary people (not just sassy teens) confronted with unspeakable horror. The movie I want to champion here, though, is 2007’s The Mist by Frank Darabont, based on a short story by Stephen King.

The Mist quite literally has everything I enjoy in a story: A single location, a continuous time frame, a moral dilemma between the humans, and… actual monsters! I love monster movies and they are rare nowadays (Yes, Cloverfield. Yes, Godzilla. Yes, Jurassic Park… sort of. Oh, shit! I just wanted to change my movie to Attack The Block. Have you seen that movie?! Best ever. But I’ll save that for next year).

The Mist begins with a simple dolly across the paintings of a genre movie poster illustrator. It lands on him at work, then the lights go out. Cut to a tree blowing in a ferocious wind. Dolly back to reveal the artist staring at the tree through the picture window with his wife and kid. Then down to the basement, to seek refuge. Back in the artist’s studio, a tree lunges through the plate glass, shattering it. Next morning, in the storm’s aftermath, a strange mist gathers across the lake. Father and son drive to town to get supplies and are trapped in the local supermarket while the mist closes in, concealing unimaginable terrors. The people trapped in the market struggle to survive an assault by creatures that may have entered this reality from another dimension. Scary stuff.

There is great economy in the shooting style, which utilizes graceful steadycam shots and an array of focal lengths. As the tension develops, the filmmaking resorts to more restless handheld shots, wrack focus, and searching zooms, giving the film an immediacy from start to finish. It all builds with a deliberate and painstaking naturalism in the dialogue and the logic of events.

The character actors are strong throughout; many of the players have appeared in Darabont’s previous films (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) or stuck around for future projects (The Walking Dead), suggesting an aesthetic of loyalty and community in Darabont’s approach that is rewarded with the genuine work he gets from his cast. Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harding, Toby Jones, and Andre Brauger are standouts, but every player brings an authentic performance—a tribute to Darabont’s directing approach. In his writing, he is able to stay visceral and driven, while clearly expounding on themes that matter to him: The dangers of religious fervor and demagoguery; social and political topics are seamlessly integrated into the script, because those issues are the fabric of our lives. How relevant for today’s Halloween/election season!

The film progresses in real time with a series of increasingly horrific set pieces and the tension ratchets up scene after scene, driven by the interplay between human aspirations and weaknesses, heroism and cowardice. The action constantly reminds us of fate’s indifference: Nice people suffer unbearable ends. The creature designs throughout are truly frightening because they are unfamiliar and inconsistent—from tentacles reaching out of the mist (not the best compositing, but scary just the same), to the incredibly freaky spider creatures with weird skull faces, to the oversized insect creatures, to the fantastic gargoyle monsters that fly through the supermarket. But there’s more: Huge, towering shapes that thud across the landscape, and crab-clawed giants that snatch you and tear you to bits. The monsters that dwell in the mist are terrifying.

The film is renowned for its bleak ending. I have tried to wrap my brain around those horror fans who disparage the ending, but to me it is an act of bold filmmaking, ending a movie with soul-crushing despair, regret and hopelessness. The story has it that Darabont was offered $200K to alter the ending, and he declined. The movie was not a success, but I say this is what good horror looks and feels like.

Happy Halloween.

September 23, 2016
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Time to order your HALLOWEEN Countdown Calendar!

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shockdrac

 

Glass Eye Pix wants you to celebrate Shocktober this and every year by joining us in counting down the days to our favorite night of the season: HALLOWEEN! What better way than with our  SHOCKTOBER NIGHTS calendar. Behind each of the 31 die-cut passages lurks a monstrous and ghoulish delight, brought to life by Glass Eye Pix artist Brahm Revel.

Warning: As it turns out, this product may be unsuitable for children!

Only $10.00 USD per calendar plus $3.00 for shipping. 
Order by September 26 for guaranteed delivery by October 1st!

ORDER HERE

October 31, 2014
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Tales From Beyond The Pale: The Stanley Edition is NOW LIVE

Did you miss TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE Live from The Stanley Film Festival? Well what better day to listen to it than on Halloween!

To celebrate our favorite holiday, we’re now offering this chilling tale for free at the Tales From Beyond The Pale Listening Room

Written by Fessenden, McQuaid, and Chapman, these tales of terror are inspired by Colorado’s Stanley Hotel and its surroundings, which also served as the muse for Stephen King’s THE SHINING. Featuring the voice talents of Fessenden, Martin Starr, AJ Bowen, Ana Asensio, Jocelyn DeBoer, Martha Harmon Pardee and Sam Zimmerman.

Listen now

Tales Stanley

 

October 23, 2014
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Glass Eye Pix OCTOBER MADNESS!!!

Check out some of what GEP has planned for the days leading up to All Hallow’s Eve!

Glass Eye Pix Presents THE ROOST at VIDEOLOGY in Brooklyn

This Saturday night, 11:30pm, check out a screening of Ti West’s THE ROOST with Producer Peter Phok in attendance! Plus GEP giveaways!
Attend

HABIT at JUMPCUT CAFE in Los Angeles

Monday night, 7pm! Fessenden in attendance, screening his personal 16mm film print with an extra couple of minutes never seen before!
Attend

TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE LIVE! at CINEFAMILY in Los Angeles

Wednesday the 29th, 7:30pm, doors 7pm! Three macabre tales from Fessenden, Glenn McQuaid and Clay McLeod Chapman, performed before a live audience. A totally immersive audio experience, with live music and foley effects.
Attend

Bloodsucking Freaks Double Feature: HABIT at Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY

Thursday Oct 30th, 8pm! HABIT 35mm print! Playing alongside Abel Ferrara’s THE ADDICTION
Attend

And stay tuned for even MORE spooktacular announcements…

October 7, 2014
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Fessenden Chats with Crave Online on his “Monster Agenda”

Director Larry Fessenden chats with Crave Online about ‘N is for Nexus’ and delves into philosophies on horror, monsters and audiences.

“I wanted to tell a story about all the little things that lead to a convergence that could be deadly, tragic and sad, all the things that I associate with horror. Not as much visceral horror as a sense of melancholy. So I wanted to put a lot of things in place, the idea of time and how the smallest prompt or delay can affect where you end up in a given day. So I had the girlfriend urging him on and then he forgets something so he goes back. Those precious 15 seconds made all the difference in this. The woman who’s driving the cab driver to move faster through the lights, he’s getting frustrated but he’s distracted. It’s just fun to try to have all those elements and build that piece.

My agenda always is to connect the audience somewhat to the characters, even if you have to do it quickly. That’s just my approach to horror so that the horror, the violence or the incident that occurs has some depth. That’s just because that’s the horror I’m speaking of, the feeling of loss that you end up with. When there’s a death, it’s not just oh, it was so gory. It’s that this changed my reality. That person is no longer with me and now I’ll have to deal with all the hauntings, the thoughts, the memories and so on. So I’m always interested in that more sweet spot of horror. I wanted to get pretty quickly to a relationship, they’re nagging at each other and then you get into the more visceral editing. I was excited to be able to work with fast cuts because in a feature I often like to slow things down, to make the audience watch a little more carefully. Here I was in a way liberated to edit quickly and see how much information you could get out of an image that lasts for a second and a half. It was fun.

Look at us having this conversation. We’re talking about horror but in fact it leads ultimately to questions of philosophical depth and that’s why I love the genre. You can take any kind of horror movie, and even if the filmmakers themselves weren’t actively engaged in those ideas, they’re in the DNA of the genre because you’re dealing with good, not even evil. I hate that term, but you’re dealing with adversity, fear which is the most potent emotion, let’s be honest, and that motivates all other emotions. And then whether you do the right thing in a crisis is of course one of the main questions in life.”

Check out the full interview here.

September 24, 2014
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Time to Order Your Halloween Countdown Calendar!

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Order your Halloween countdown calendar by Friday 9/26 and you will receive your  calendar in time to start counting the days to all Hallow’s Eve. And if you’re too old for such childish things, why not get one for your “niece” or “nephew”. Your secret’s safe with us!

Order here!

October 30, 2013
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Halloween with Larry Fessenden, Glenn McQuaid, and Tales From Beyond The Pale

Spend Halloween at the TALES HQ with two scary stories from McQuaid and Fessenden, streaming for free in the listening room

This week: Working Stiffs.

Happy Halloween…