Outlast: A refreshing entry in the survival horror genre

Outlast-logo-PS4-image

 

Today in gaming there is a genre that is lacking and that is survival horror. After the golden age of horror games during the playstation 1 & 2 era, horror games are no longer the norm. Today all we have is the same recycled shooters that have little to no innovation. Even Capcom the company that made survival horror into a genre with its acclaimed Resident evil franchise, has taken the dark path and has destroyed the beloved horror series. But there is no need to give up hope yet. In the last few years we have seen a rising in indie horror games come out (mostly on PC) and has shown that there is still a horror fan base in gaming. Games like Amnesia: The dark descent, Slender and many others have kept the horror genre in the field but there is one game that I have played recently that has given me my survival horror fix and that game is Outlast.

Outlast is a 2013 First person survival horror game. Developed and Published by Red Barrels and was released on PC, Plastation 4 and  XBOX ONE.

The game’s plot is rather simple. You play as  freelance journalist  Miles Upshur who after an anonymous tip, travels to a remote psychiatric hospital located deep in the mountains of Colorado. There Miles must find out what dark secrets the Hospital holds. The story line of the game is not very long depending on the difficulty you play. If you play it on normal then the game will last you from 5 to 6 hours of game play. In the game you are only equipped with a camcorder and must use the camera’s night vision to navigate through the dark halls of the Asylum. The camera does have a battery life so in order to keep it running you must find batteries located around the Asylum. There is absolutely NO weapons in this game, in order for you to survive you must run and hide from the  homicidal inmates that roam the asylum. This makes the game very suspenseful and very nerve-racking, not to mention that the inmates will become more aggressive each time they are alerted of your whereabouts.

Moving on from game play, Outlast has the most terrifying atmosphere I have seen in a horror game in years. From the bright lit rooms with corpses and blood covering the floor to dark, run down cell blocks which are still inhabited by crazed inmates, you will have the feeling you are not alone and that there is always something around the corner. Most of the scares in Outlast mostly depend on the environment. Sure there may be some jump scares here and there but the environment around you supplies the feeling of fear you have while playing. To add to the atmosphere of the game, Outlast has a very good soundtrack. Both terrifying and relaxing depending on the situation you are in.

Now onto the performance of the game. If you are planning to get it on PC (which I highly recommend) then you have no worries the game does not require a huge rig on steroids, but just to be safe please check the game’s requirements. I currently run the game on my laptop which has a intel core i5 processor, 8gb of ram, 500gb hard drive, and Intel HD 4400 graphics card; and I am able to play the game on maxed settings with 40 to 50 fps.

If you miss the good old days of horror back on PS1 and PS2 then I highly recommend Outlast. It has everything you need for a late night scare. Outlast is now available for PC, Playstation 4, and XBOX ONE for $19.99 as well as the Whistleblower expansion for $9.99.

Evil That Is Hard to Swallow. Bad Meat review!

badmeatNot quite sure I want to review Bad Meat. Analyzing a project that never saw completion is like trying to teach terminally ill 3 year old how to manage a bank account. As I do a little more back ground research on Bad Meat, I’ve come across some very interesting and almost discouraging tidbits about the history behind Bad Meat. First off, the director is named Lulu Jarmen. Right now, you might be asking yourself who the hell is Lulu Jarmen and what else has she directed? Some people think Jarmen took over the project from Rob Schmidt, the director behind the inbred cannibal movie Wrong Turn and who promised fans that Dead Meat would be the most vile move ever seen quoted in 2011. However, many other people believe that Lulu Jarmen is a pseudo-name for Rob Schmidt because of how embarrassedly bad Bad Meat turned out financially and plot-wise.

Six troubled youths are sent to the isolated Camp Hardway under the cruel thumb of an hitler-esque figure and perverse, sadistic counselors. When the camp cook feeds the counselors rotten meat, the counselors transform into raging, flesh eating psychopaths.

badmeat1

The premise is a shortcoming much like the ending of Dead Meat. Literally, the film just ran out of money from Capital films and immediately shut down production half way through the movie. Is it a good thing that perhaps Schmidt (or Jarmen) shot the movie from first sequence? One would think. Yet, Dead Meat ends right at the middle of the movie and in the midst of an attack none-the-less. The characters’ fates, the six teenage renegades, are left unexplained by an open ended, most likely reshot, ending that has left us to conjure up our own imagination to seek an ending to Dead Meat.

Dead Meat from the beginning had no promise even though fun to watch. The perversity is awkward, the fluids flow in chunky green vomit and think warm red blood, and the dialogue is as colorful as all the spectrums of the rainbow. The first 82-83, give or take, manages to at least make your time worth wild, but the last ten minutes are severely butchered with reshot with scenes of a severely burned (maybe?) survivor of the camp laying in a hospital bed and typing away on a bedside computer. Typing what? Yo no se. Most likely the story behind how this survivor came to be mangled and so horribly disfigured. These scenes, which are interjected into the original film, barely have any connections besides the name of the main character Tyler being thrown about by his apparent older brother who looks old enough to be his father.

badmeat2

Dead Meat is not the “sickest move you’ll see this year.” Besides, I most likely would not even call it a full film. Intriguing, gross, and hilarious but a grand let down by Jarmen (or by Schmidt, who cares?). Any bit of Dead Meat’s success died with Capitol Films the production company. Revolver Entertainment’s pickup of Dead Meat would have rejuvenated life into this film, but instead arbitrary reshoots baffles and confuse.

Store Your Evil! Storage 24 Review!

storage24magnetFinally! Storage 24 is a sci-fi creature feature that lives and breathes to impress and to entertain! I hadn’t had this much fun with a monster movie since Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield back in theaters of 2008. Both works have a simple premise, a cast of favorable characters, and deadly results for them by a vicious, out of this world thing that just wants to rip anything and everything to shreds without reason. Of course, Storage 24’s smaller setting confines itself to a sole storage unit instead of the broad city landscape that is New York, but Storage 24 builds to be, and develops really well into, a bigger than expected movie.

A military plane crashes in the middle of London. The event seems small enough until the military quarantine the area. Exes Charlie and Shelley are trapped in their powerless storage unit facility during their clean out their belongings with the help of their friends. Lurking in the building with them is the contents that were on that military plane – an 9 foot alien with a killer instinct.

storage24

The alien portrayed had me thrilled with the movements and the special effects. The mandibles were a big plus with me as I am a huge Predator fanatic (Sorry Xenomorph fans, but Predator has the bugs beat!). The creature performs in almost stop motion which gave it a more unearthly feel and the way it mangled people lives up to a killer animal on the loose – think Ghost in the Darkness. Unlike Predator, the alien seemed to be more mobile and more crafty by being able to move and hide in the rafters of the storage facility. I know that sounds like an aspect of Predator, but this alien did more with ease and without being bulky about doing it. Less human and more alien – if we knew how aliens existed I’m sure Storage 24 captured the perceptual concept.

I love the films misdirection as you’re sucked into hating one set of characters and sympathizing with the other set during the first part of the film. Suddenly, just before the shit hits the extraterrestrial fan, you’re now rooting for the asshole and the slut who cheated. The laws of a horror movie are null and void at this point.

storage24monster

I’m not completely satisfied on why Storage 24 is being wrongly shunned on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes with both sites sporting around a meager 40% freshness. Perhaps the dorky comedy at the first half of the film is too blame? Maybe the dialogue tracks could have been louder and the actors could have their pronunciation cleaned up a bit? Who knows and who cares? All I can tell you about Storage 24 is how much fun I had and that’s what matters the most about b-movies, right? You can buy your copy of Storage 24 here!

Storage 24 Trailer

Kevin and the Evil Cult! The Following (Eps 8 review)

About time we have a more passionate episode making us care about characters who have been dormant for too long. Perhaps the anticipation came to the edge of the boiling point and finally spilled over unto the flame. Will this be the turning point for the characters? I hope so – fuck! I’m tired of Ryan Hardy chasing the tail of his nemesis. I’m tired of Weston being a geeky waste of space. I’m tired of Joe Carroll speaking in riddles. In this episode, Ryan gives respect, Weston is strong, and Carroll has ultimate power or mind control however you would like to label it.

followingdeb

Also, the refreshing part about the episode is how the characters’ roles have reversed. Carroll is out and free with a hoard of acolytes to do anything for him even kill themselves – devotion that is almost non-existant in today’s world unfortunately. Ryan feels constrained by his new boss, Agent “Asshole,” and is stuck within the confines of the law but wants to break free by beating down the captures acolytes.

Of course, I was wrong about who Rodrigo turned out to be with Rodrigo being a man and not the super cute cougar Agent Debra Parker. Rodrigo turns out to be a better character, but a character we have not seen before. However, we can understand where Rodrigo pulls his influence and how Rodrigo became a part of Carroll’s crew. Carroll isn’t the only power house character to have a devotee; Ryan Hardy has Weston who was kidnapped, beaten, and stab to protect a very important secret on the behalf of Hardy. Weston has finally earned Hardy’s long becoming respect.

westonhardy

I’m certainly looking forward to the next episode to see how the characters unfold and to see who my be the next surprised acolyte, but I have a hunch, and I’ll probably be wrong again like I was with Rodrigo, that there might be a friend within the Carroll following. Stay tuned.

Evil Out Your Pineal Gland! From Beyond (Second Sight) review!

frombeyond

Perhaps the most very definition of sensory stimulation lies with the Stuart Gordon 1986 mad science horror film From Beyond. Numerous sensors are teased from color perspectives to sexual stimulation to even the thrill of exciting the mind through science. From Beyond is not only a maddeningly weird and utterly slimy film about expanding the pineal gland to the point of losing yourself to a creature ridden other-dimensional world where you’re absorbed into chaotic, gelatinous mutated mass. No. From Beyond lets you fully and freely experience what most people consider to be taboo and frightening.

Dr. Edward Pretorius and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast construct a machine called the Resonator that will tap into the dormant pineal gland of the mind in hopes of expanding to beyond the regions of the mind. When Crawford first turns on the machine, creatures appear swimming in the air and attack Crawford. Ignoring the warnings of possible danger, the obsessed Pretorius turns on the machine and has his head twisted and decapitated by a shape-shifting monster. Crawford’s story lands him committed in an mental institution where he is greeted by Dr. Katherine McMichaels who treats Crawford and wants him to recreate his experience in order to treat what she thinks is schizophrenia. Crawford, Katherine and Bubba Brownlee, an overseeing officer to make sure Crawford behaves himself, return to the Pretorius house to reactivate the Resonator – to recreate the nightmare.

frombeyond2

How can you not read that synopsis and not be curious to see this fun flick? Loosely based of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story of the same title and intertwined with other Lovecraftian stories. We all know that director Stuart Gordon is the true historian behind Lovecraft as he has most likely studied and then directed most of Lovecraft’s stories such as Herbert West-Re-Animator and Dagon. Yet somehow with From Beyond, Gordon and his team did something right; they infused their own ideas and their own creative style making From Beyond more memorable and highly controversial amongst the MPAA. Hell, I’m guessing this is why we can never have a home entertainment copy stay in print for more than 3 years – point in case, the MGM release! Luckily, for you and for me, UK cult and horror film loving Second Sight Films has brought back From Beyond from the DVD grave and has even enhanced the film for Blu-ray!

Oh yeah, Dr. Katherine McMichaels.

Oh yeah, Dr. Katherine McMichaels.

From Beyond really did push the limits with the MPAA; so much in fact that even using green slime over blood to lessen the effect still caused heavily edited down editions. But there are scenes of extreme uncomfortableness which I find a sense of relieve and peacefulness in. Such scenes are with Barbara Crampton in the S&M outfit and she fondles Jeffrey Combs as he lies hair less and injured in bed. If I feel awkward, dirty, or uncomfortable after a scene, I’m extremely enjoying the movie and thank you director, producers, writers, actors, and the rest of the crew in making uncomfortable scenes enjoyable for weird folks as myself. Like I always say, if a horror movie frightens you, then the movie is doing it’s job! From Beyond will surface all sorts of internal emotions and stimulations that cause the sensations to overload and explode much like the Resonator stimulating the pineal gland to the point of blissful agony.

If you want to feel like you’re on a severe acid trip, I’d suggest grabbing From Beyond from Second Sight here before the DVD goes out of print again. Remember, this is a region 2 disc and can only be played on region 2 players so beware!