horror

July 11, 2014 | 12:14 p.m.

‘The Strain’: Guillermo del Toro addresses billboard controversy at premiere

"Pacific Rim" director Guillermo del Toro is photographed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif., on June 17, 2103. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Several drivers and pedestrians have complained for weeks about billboards around Los Angeles promoting FX’s new horror drama “The Strain,” which feature a nasty-looking worm crawling out of an eyeball. Guillermo del Toro, the key creative force behind the series,  wants to know what the big deal is. “It’s just a … worm coming out of an eyeball,”  he said with mischievous glee as he hosted the premiere of “The Strain” Thursday at the Directors Guild of America. The Oscar-nominated director (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), who directed the pilot,  was obviously in an upbeat mood as he introduced the episode, which he hoped would terrify viewers. The billboards certainly have unnerved many who have passed by, prompting FX to remove some of them. At the premiere, John Landgraf, head of FX Networks, pointed to the image on the screen during his opening […]
June 13, 2014 | 3:50 p.m.

Joe Dante recalls studio fretted about Gremlin creepiness factor [video]

Before “Gremlins” hit theaters in 1984, studio executives fretted that the creepy critters might be too frightening for moviegoers. “They thought the Gremlins were very unpleasant,” director Joe Dante recalled during a recent appearance at the Hero Complex Film Festival. “So, they sent some notes, one of which was: ‘Too many gremlins.’ “ Luckily Steven Spielberg, the executive producer, had the perfect rejoinder. “Well, we could cut all the Gremlins out and call it ‘People.’ How would you like that?” It was the type of sardonic comeback that perhaps only Spielberg could have gotten away with at the time. After all, as Dante pointed out, he was essentially the reason the film was made. Dante said that Warner Bros., “basically backed it because Steven Spielberg wanted to make it, and they wanted to make him happy.” Dante spoke with Hero […]
May 27, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

‘Hemlock Grove’ first look: Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard in Season 2

Famke Janssen in a scene from Season 2 of Netflix's "Hemlock Grove." (Steve Wilkie/Netflix)
Famke Janssen is in matriarch mode as Olivia Godfrey in a new image for Season 2 of Netflix’s supernatural horror show, “Hemlock Grove,” which premieres with 10 episodes on July 11. Hero Complex readers can check out two new images from the series, based on Brian McGreevy’s novel of the same name and executive produced by torture porn enthusiast Eli Roth. Set in a small Pennsylvania town, “Hemlock Grove” centers on the friendship between Roman (Bill Skarsgard), the young heir to the Godfrey family fortune, and a recent arrival, a gypsy named Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron). As the second season opens, the pair is dealing with the fallout from a deadly massacre, and Roman specifically is wrestling with a fractured relationship with his mother (Janssen) and the disappearance of his sister Shelley (Madeleine Martin). The cast also includes features Dougray […]
May 07, 2014 | 1:36 p.m.

‘Insidious: Chapter 3′: Leigh Whannell to direct spooky sequel

Leigh Whannell, co-creator of the “Insidious” and “Saw” franchises, will direct “Insidious: Chapter 3,” the third installment in the spooky horror franchise. Whannell will also write the third film and reprise his role as paranormal investigator Specs, with franchise co-creator James Wan serving as producer along with Jason Blum and “Paranormal Activity” creator Oren Peli. Wan has stepped away from the horror genre for the time being to direct “Fast & Furious 7,” handing off the reins to the series to his frequent collaborator and film school friend Whannell, who will make his feature directorial debut with the sequel. Wan tweeted his excitement about his frequent partner taking over, writing, “Wow, @LWhannell is going to outdo me by doing all three roles – writing, directing and acting – in his first film as director!” A breakout hit, the haunted house tale […]
April 12, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Oculus’: Karen Gillan on ‘Doctor Who,’ horror, action hero boot camp

Karen Gillan is photographed in Los Angeles April 2, 2014. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
In her childhood years in Inverness, the quaint Scottish city nestled miles away from Loch Ness in the country’s picturesque highlands, Karen Gillan developed a bit of an obsession with darkness – perhaps a natural reaction to growing up in a place with limited sunlight and the mythical presence of monsters nearby. As a young girl, she’d watch episodes of “Tales of the Unexpected” with her mother and films such as Wes Craven’s satiric “Scream” with her friends. “One time, my friend came over to my house dressed in the ‘Scream’ costume and jumped into my room and it was the scariest moment of my life,” Gillan recalled recently over a cup of English breakfast tea at a West Hollywood hotel. “I’ve always been a horror film fan.” So, when director Mike Flanagan approached Gillan about starring in his time-bending […]
April 11, 2014 | 11:32 a.m.

‘Oculus’ director on smart horror, Karen Gillan’s ‘spitfire intensity’

Karen Gillan stars in "Oculus." (John Estes/ Relativity)
In the new horror film “Oculus,” which arrives in theaters Friday, Karen Gillan plays a confident young woman who fearlessly confronts the demons of her past – which just so happen to reside inside a haunted mirror that slowly drives its victims insane. The film is based on a short that director Mike Flanagan made back in 2005 — the expanded feature-length treatment allows Flanagan to jump back and forth between the past and the present, as the audience witnesses young Kaylie (Annalise Besso) and her brother Tim (Garrett Ryan) become increasingly fearful of their parents’ (Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff) unusual behavior. As an adult Kaylie (Gillan) decides to confront the evil spirit inside the lethal Lasser Glass, and recruits her brother (Brenton Thwaites) to assist her in her scheme. With its time-bending, hallucinatory structure, “Oculus” aspires to the […]
March 19, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘American Vampire’: Rafael Albuquerque talks monstrous ‘Second Cycle’

AmericanVampireSecondCyclefeaturedimage
Skinner Sweet is hell on wheels, and “American Vampire” co-creator Rafael Albuquerque says the visual engine is “Easy Rider.” The original Abominus americana rides in the sunlight again Wednesday as Brazilian artist Albuquerque and writer Scott Snyder’s Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series begins its “Second Cycle” after a planned hiatus that lasted more than a year. Set in the 1960s, the new arc finds the deadly outlaw Sweet, first of a new breed that walks in daylight and is felled by gold, up to no good in Mexico. Meanwhile, the woman he turned, former aspiring actress Pearl Jones, has returned home to Kansas from Los Angeles, an ever-young widow who outlived her beloved musician husband Henry. And, as teased in the last regular issue before the break, a mysterious threat called the Gray Trader is on the horizon. “AV” readers’ blood thirst […]
March 03, 2014 | 2:20 p.m.

‘The Simon and Kirby Library — Horror’: Preview new Titan anthology

"The Simon and Kirby Library -- Horror."  (featured image)
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s comics collaborations yielded some classic, spine-tingling tales — and for the first time, the entirety of their work in the genre is being collected, in the new hardcover edition, “The Simon and Kirby Library — Horror,” due this week from English publisher Titan. Hero Complex readers can check out an exclusive excerpt from the new book in the gallery above or using the links below. Simon and Kirby’s fabled creative partnership left an indelible imprint on comics — in Timely Comics’ Captain America Comics #1, dated March 1941 but out the previous December, they introduced the world to the patriotic superhero whose legacy and influence remains widespread — Cap will star in his second big-screen solo outing this spring, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” opening April 4. Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 […]
Feb. 14, 2014 | 1:24 p.m.

Horror cinema: A valentine to genre favorites from two admirers

Horror hall of fame
Two Hero Complex horror fans dig through basement and attic for their favorite fear-inducing films. Click through the gallery for Gina McIntyre and Mark Olsen's five top horror flicks. (Picturehouse; Rosebud Releasing; Universal)
At this time of year the cinematic conversation usually is centered on Oscar front-runners, or the best titles that screened in Park City, Utah, or looking ahead to how much money “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” stands to rake in when it kicks off the summer blockbuster season. But in TV land, “The Walking Dead” is cable’s highest-rated drama. The astonishing popularity of that series owes to a number of factors — compelling characters under constant threat, grappling with what it means to be human in a world beset by inhuman calamity. And also zombies. In other words, all the hallmarks of what makes for the best horror cinema. With that in mind, it seemed a good time to explore the undying popularity of horror movies. As the two L.A. Times writers who most frequently cover the genre, we’re both serious […]
Jan. 17, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.

Chris Burnham gets the creeps over his, Grant Morrison’s ‘Nameless’

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Chris Burnham was being “cagey” about his and writer Grant Morrison’s “Nameless” horror, but he was excited to name the terrors that keep him up at night. The good-humored artist, a surprise guest at last week’s Image Expo in San Francisco, had used that word on stage in not discussing what the upcoming comic book miniseries is about (though Morrison has revealed a few details), and in a backstage interview he apologetically kept mum on the subject. But Burnham, 36, who recently moved to L.A. from Chicago to be nearer to opportunities in film, video games and other media, was forthcoming about how his and “Batman Incorporated” collaborator Morrison’s creative dynamic works, the freedom of drawing a creator-owned book, and which comics, movies and books haunt him at home and freak him out in L.A. traffic jams. And, after having […]
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