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After Dark Horrorfest III
After Dark Horrorfest III
Actors: Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Melissa Jones, Kevin Yon, Lynch R. Travis
Directors: Craig Singer, Jody Dwyer, Ki-hwan Oh, Phedon Papamichael, Sean Ellis
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2009

All 8 After Dark Horror Fest III DVDs in one giftset!


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Movie Details

Actors: Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Melissa Jones, Kevin Yon, Lynch R. Travis
Directors: Craig Singer, Jody Dwyer, Ki-hwan Oh, Phedon Papamichael, Sean Ellis
Creator: Brad Keene
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/31/2009
Release Year: 2009
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 8
SwapaDVD Credits: 8
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

An Off Year, Unfortunately (on the theatrical releases)
Blake Watson | Winnetka, CA USA | 01/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I can't comment on the actual product, just the movies themselves as presented in the theater, as part of the After Dark Horror Fest 3.

It was a weak year, not because of production values, acting, camera work or the things that usually plague low-budget flicks, but because of writing and pacing, and also a reliance on some increasingly stale horror movie tropes. I would really only recommend two of the eight!

Here are your capsule summaries. (I've got more detailed reviews at bitmaelstrom, search for After Dark.)

Autopsy: One of the two I'd recommend. A "funhouse" horror film, where the scares don't necessarily make sense, but they are fun and effective. College kids find themselves in a bizarre hospital during Hurricane Katrina, and end up being the subject of Mad Doctor (Robert Patrick) experiments.

The Broken: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" meets "Mirrors". This is a movie almost entirely devoid of shocks and more dependent on tension; problem is, it's painfully obvious what's going on in the first 10-15 minutes--but even if you didn't have a clue, the menace just doesn't come through. You sit waiting for something to happen. Big name stars, though, relatively, with Queen Gorgo of "300" (Lena Heady) and the white guy from "The Visitor" (Richard Jenkins). Despite this, worst in show.

Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations: CAUTION! The graphic here says "Butterfly Effect 2", but it was #3 shown at the fest. Make sure it's #3, because this was Best In Show. Essentially "Quantum Leap" with a horror twist, this movie concerns a poor guy trying to right wrongs in the past and ending up creating more and more havoc, and finally a serial killer. Fast moving, involving, not too obvious and with a little gratuitous sex. Feature horror fest mascot Rachel Miner.

Dying Breed: Inbred Redneck Hillbilly cannibals. =Australian= inbred redneck hillbilly cannibals (AIRHBCs). This features Leigh Whannell of the "Saw" series but don't be fooled. He just acts here. The writing and direction is fairly pedestrian. 20-somethings go to investigate endangered species, end up hunted by freakish AIRHBCs.

From Within: A small town is cursed by sequential suicides, blames it on local witches. Is partly right. Wall-to-wall stereotypes, from the broody goth kid and the Good Girl(TM) to the bigoted jock and the Preacher With A Secret.

Perkins 14: From the director of the first Horrorfest's "Dark Ride", this movie is twice as good, which unfortunately only makes for 2/3rds of a good movie. The first third is mystery and suspense, then the movie shifts gears for a survival zombie feel, and then unfortunately the whole thing grinds to a halt as they hole up in the police station but lose all their common sense. Potential for truly interesting endings dropped in favor of the expected one.

Slaughter: The first half of this movie is character development and air-of-menace, but much like "Dying Breed", the redneck hillbillys (who are probably not inbred cannibals, or at least not yet) just aren't very menacing. When the action starts again, there are some very good moments, but once again the predictable ending.

Voices: This Korean movie is about how your loved ones secretly want to kill you--and do, if you give them the chance. Should've been great, but there was no rhyme or reason to who "turned", meaning there is no real suspense or tension, since the filmmakers can turn anyone at any time. Ultimately, there's no compelling reason for the curse, no defense against it, and the ending tries to retrofit an explanation to the whole thing, but that doesn't really hang together.

The collection lacks the energy of a "Mulberry Street", the camp of a "Tooth and Nail", the good ol' ghost story ("Gravedancers"), the mysterious logic of a "Rinne" or the gritty realism of a "Borderland".

There's almost a lack of conviction throughout, and there's a distinct conservatism. Lesser movies of previous fests often had more interest just by having a compelling setting with a creepy atmosphere--they'd grab you, even if they couldn't hold you.

Despite more consistent and consistently better production values--seemed like every movie had use of a crane--there was much less here to suck you in in the first place. Sad to say, it's hard to recommend this set, even for die-hard horror fans."
Third time's a charm for HORRORFEST 3
Eradlik | Fairfax, VA United States | 03/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The latest collection from the highly entertaining After Dark Horrorfest lineup is perhaps the most consistent yet. It's also a more international affair this year with entries from Great Britain, Australia and South Korea to complement our homegrown fare. By in large this is an effective and clever mix of horrors, covering everything from possession to cannibalism, from serial killings to mad doctors. The lineup includes...

THE BROKEN - A sleek, moody shocker in which SARAH CONNER CHRONICLES star Lena Heady survives a nasty car wreck only to find her mysterious doppelganger haunting London. Well acted and subtly creepy, it sneaks up on you like a ROSEMARY'S BABY / INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS style shocker.

DYING BREED - In search of the supposedly extinct Tasmanian Tiger, a group of would be documentarians find a different group of predators on the hunt in rural Tasmania. Now they are the endangered species. Excellent location work and bursts of brutal violence keep this one humming.

FROM WITHIN - A rash of unexplained suicides among the youth of a Bible belt community is blamed by the pious locals on an outcast family suspected of witchcraft. But are these outsiders really witches? And are the townsfolk as devout as they seem? Strong cast and slickly made.

SLAUGHTER - A young woman moving out on her own after ending an abusive relationship finds a new friend and moves in with her at a rustic farmhouse. Her old lover is not to be jilted, though. But as her stalker ex closes in our heroine begins to think that she has more to fear than her twisted lover. A slow building shocker, the ladies are excellent.

PERKINS 14 - A decade after his son's kidnapping a small town deputy finds a lead to the disappearance of his boy (and several other children) in the form of a mystery man brought in on a traffic violation. Further investigations unleash an army of killers on the community in a night of madness and terror. Effectively creepy.

VOICES - This sharp South Korean shocker finds a young woman in deadly jeopardy when her friends and family begin inexplicably exploding into fits of murderous rage. Can she find the cause of the violent insanity before she falls victim to the bloody rampage of those she loves the most? Sharply lensed and filled with startling set pieces this wicked import is not for the squeamish.

BUTTERFLY EFFECT 3 - This self contained entry in the loose series finds our hero, who is able to will himself into the past, becoming obsessed with tracking down a brutal serial killer who has previously tainted his life. In every attempt to change the past the hero creates a new and even more sinister reality. Will he find the savage killer? And more importantly, should he even TRY? Clever, pacey and unpredictable.

AUTOPSY - A group of teens are taken to an off the beaten path Louisiana hospital after an auto accident only to discover a staff who's more efficient at cold blooded murder than checking temperatures and filling out charts. Robert Patrick (TERMINATOR 2) plays the head doctor, a medico whose bedside manner can kill you. Ultra gory, silly, bloody fun.

The set varies from straight out terror to squirmy psychological horrors. All of the films are well made and provide a nice cross section of sub genres. This AFTER DARK series is well worth a look and comes highly recommended.

A Must See
Hugh Moore | USA | 05/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As I was watching this movie I thought that it might cause a stir. It portrays (in a very real way) a town partially populated by the kind of bigoted evangelicals who give Christianity a bad name. I read some user comments on imdb by kids who complained that even at their own fairly liberal High Schools that they were being called baby killers and told they were going to hell if they didn't blindly believe. That's what makes this movie truly shocking. These people really exist. It also has a great plot about a thoroughly frightening curse with a genuinely unique opening and a wicked ending. It's well acted and wonderfully crafted. You'd have to be a complete idiot to think that it had any sort of anti Christian message, or more worrying, one of the intolerant fundamentalists who are portrayed in the movie. These are exactly the kind of people who voted Bush into power twice and are trying to persecute people because of their sexuality. Scary! Everyone in America should see this movie."
Near perfect indie horror with a shocking ending!
Shadi Mirza | Yecheon, South Korea | 04/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Who would win in the battle between in the battle between light and dark? Where will the battle be fought? These are the questions asked by Phedon Papamichael in his new film From Within. While the film does tread some well-worn territory, the movie is atmospheric enough - and the performances are good enough - for the viewer to be able to overlook the tired tropes and enjoy a solid independent horror film.

From Within begins with a suicide, followed immediately by the death of the person who witnessed it, followed by many more deaths. The residents of the ultra-religious town begin to suspect Aidan (Thomas Dekker), the son of the woman they killed for practicing witchcraft. But who's really to blame for the string of deaths, and what price must be paid in order to stop them.

As a veteran of the last three "8 Films to Die For" festivals, I wasn't expecting much from this film. The annual horror festival is synonymous with boring, derivative crap. You know it's sad when the best film to come out of the previous two outings was Nightmare Man, a C-grade schlock fest saved by corny acting and Tiffany Sheppis' [...]. So you can understand my trepidation coming into this movie - especially after having the derivative Dying Breed a few weeks ago. Luckily, I was in good hands.

From Within begins shakily. It's difficult to decipher what's going on at first. The film simply transitions from one deadly set piece to the next without any apparent connection. Only when "final girl" Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) decides to befriend the gothy-looking Aidan do the pieces of the plot begin to come together. Besides the foibles with the plot, other things fall a little flat. I wasn't too bothered by the whole people-getting-killed-by-evil-doppelgangers aspect of the story, but I felt it would have been creepier if we couldn't see the force killing these people.

Despite the flaws, the film does a lot right. The religious fanatics weren't too over the top. You could definitely imagine these nut-jobs living in a red state near you (hell, there are plenty of them in Arizona). Also, the ending was note-for-note perfect. The film's credit sequence - a grim version of the apocalypse - is creepier than most of the horror films that came out in 2008.

As another entry in the horror genre, From Within is a competent and engaging movie that's just a little rough around the edges. As an entry in the "8 Films to Die For" library, it's a near masterpiece. While you should definitely skip the majority of the films in this year's collection, From Within is a must see."