It’s in Human Nature to be Evil. “It Comes At Night” review!


Set in an infectious diseased post-apocalypse world, Paul, his wife Sarah, and their son Travis have fortified themselves in a dense forested and isolated house to ride out the easily spreadable disease. Always prepared and ever suspicious, Paul expects everyone to follow a rigorous routine, following procedures in order to avoid becoming infected, but when a young family, seeking supplies and refuge, enters their lives and their home despite Paul’s hesitations. Paul’s family’s routine and order face disruption that opens themselves up to the ever present danger outside and inside their home.

“It Comes at Night” is an intense, heart-pounding mystery thriller set inside the close quartered confines of a desolate house where trust doesn’t come without auspicious interrogation and teeth clinching suspicion. Writer-director Trey Edward Shults’ sophomore feature has layers upon layers of underlying human nature undertones when people are put up against an unsurvivable situation inevitably with their backs against the wall, literally, when confronted to whether to implement the good will nature of their humanity or not, to take that risk to help others or to save their own skin, and to attempt to reconnect with other people or stay separate from the masses. Even the “it” in “It Comes at Night” isn’t as simple as one would first think. Most unfamiliar audiences would assume “it” is a snarling, brooding, oozing, and grotesque creature, or perhaps even a devilishly grinning clown, that comes around when the sun falls; instead, the “it” is an occurrence, an event sparking nightmares inside the human mind that formulates fear and a tall order of exemplary caution.

The Australian born Joel Edgerton (“The Thing” remake) stars as Paul, the father of the family he’s trying to protect at all costs. Edgerton perfectly pitches as a, supposed, American voice, since the story doesn’t exclaim a locality, but the assumption is the setting is nowhere, U.S.A, and plants a firm foot down as a rugged resident of wilderness survival accompanied by his wife Sarah played by Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo. Ejogo’s offering to her character gives Sarah a powerful will to do what’s necessary and to support Paul in his determination to protect their only son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Edgerton, Ejogo, and Harrison opposite up well against the foreign element, another family with their performer genetic makeup of Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough, and Griffin Robert Faulkner as Will, Kim, and their just above toddling son, Andrew. Each actor embraces the role in their respective family and at first, the interactions are genuinely jovial, but then the uncomfortable thick tension evolves from the point of an extreme pivot into the folds of deception and fear.

Shults maintains an ominous atmosphere of overwhelming strain amongst the characters and “It Comes at Night” has a unique perspective set inside an already apocalyptic ravaged population despite the lack visual expositions. Yet, the finished project feels incomplete. Pacing is the biggest concern with the timing of events between the introduction of Will’s family and their destined downfall that results in a climax that’s so bellied-up in an sorely anti-climatic fashion that the notion of being cheated out of a more gut-punched ending pulls at the core of the cinematic soul. That’s not to say that the film has one, if not more, interpretations; in fact, Shults’ entire feature is or could be considered open for interpretation, with examples from the duly noted “red door” to the Travis’ child-like personality, and usually those types of heavily subtext films stick around more way after the credits roll, but also, in a slightly bittersweet cause and effect, leaves more of a foggy formulation of events during the unfolding of the story. Also, an aspect that didn’t help the cause was shying away from a powerful scenes that should have left an impact, but R-rated feature delivered no acute moments of remembrance and leaving much to the imagination with only the majority of the rating pie being flavored with tasteless language.

Lionsgate Entertainment presents the Animal Kingdom and A24 produced “It Comes at Night” on a 1080p resolution in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The imagery lavishes in a gritty, woodsy detail that organically defines the sea of trees and natural flesh tones, but as the title suggests, most scenes are shot at night that are moderately blanketed, yet ineffectively intrusive, in digital noise. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix definitely has more girth during the livid nightmares and vigorously tense scenes, but, surprisingly, the dialogue track lacks gusto in the wake of a more lively surround quality. During exchanges of hushed tones, dialogue is rendered nearly inaudible and the option English subtitles had to be deployed. Spanish subtitles are also available. Special features include an audio commentary by writer-director Trey Edward Shults and actor Kelvin Williams Jr and a cast and crew discourse in a segment entitled “Human Nature: Creating ‘It Comes at Night.'” Overall, the psychological and humanity breakdown of the characters of “It Comes at Night” is worth the price of admission along with the teachings that family is key and to never rely on the goodwill of strangers, but finishes with a weak sense of direction that ruptures an unsavory cyst that doesn’t conclude coherently.

Own It Comes at Night on Blu-ray!

EvilGamer Horror Game Finds!

I know video game content on here has been lacking and I am sorry. So I am back and try to make more content and review more games.

Went game hunting today and found some cool horror games to add to my collection. So here is my first video game pickup video for our Youtube channel. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please feel free to do so, I will start doing more gameplay videos and reviews on there.

#Programming_Evil. “Nightmare_Code” review!

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Brilliant programmer Brett Desmond has been hired at a tech start-up to quickly complete the groundbreaking coding of a previous programmer Foster Cotten who went on a murderous rampage at the start-up’s tenth floor office right before killing himself. Desmond, struggling with the federal government breathing down his and his family’s necks due in part of him leaking sensitive classified material, works night and day and around the clock to crack Cotten’s code for ROPER, a behavior recognition program. A small work group remains with Desmond during the day, but at night, Desmond sleeps at the office, working aggressively to make the deadline and get his life back in order. The further Desmond or anyone else becomes familiar with the code, the code starts to modify their behavior, twisting their thoughts, and succumbing them to it’s will of the dead programmer.
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From time to time again, the film industry on the subject of pioneer technology relays information upon the fears and consequences of intertwining arrogant brilliancy and controversial technology. From the genres of cyber punk to Sci-Fi horror, decades old films such as the virtual reality plotted “The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity” to the more recent “Transcendence,” transferring consciousness into the machine, have been outspoken against the use of behavior modification and recognition programs. The idea behind the notion can said that the person envisioning the possibilities of such software will become obsessed, power hungry, or vengeful if the creation is taken away from them to which all three can be attributed to director Mark Netter’s 2014 film “Nightmare Code.”
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Shot entirely through a surveillance-like setup and notebook web cams, “Nightmare Code,” for most of the duration, is viewed through four screens as like security footage. Netter and cinematographer Robert Fernandez designed this structure not for the sole purpose of a novelty exhibition, but to also confine characters in a small box coded by technology, as explained in an DVD’s bonus featurette, and creating a sense of isolation and distant connections that make the life of a programmer very lonely and depressing which develops in the characters very thoroughly. The story is told through the virtual eyes of ROPER, using it’s self-awareness and advanced modules to voyeuristically watch the small group of programmers and manically motivate their actions by use of altered video projections. ROPER also accesses the past, filling in the gaps that only the infamous story of the genius Foster Cotton can fill, and by accessing the past, the dead programmer’s coding can be understood for it’s malevolent behavior modification.
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“Nightmare Code” is complimented by an underrated cast whom work well together through the smaller ROPER displays in the small screen film industry. Andrew J. West, better known for his role as the Terminus cannibal Gareth on “The Walking Dead,” takes on the protagonist role of Brett Desmond who battles legal and family trouble and West epitomizes isolation by effectively taking a man with a moral conscious in leaking immoral government information and leading him down a path of legal morality, but at the same time, being unfaithful, deceitful, and prone to corruption. He becomes pitted against antagonist Foster Cotton, played by veteran actor and long time supporting actor Googy Gress, notably recognized as a NASA mission controller from Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13.” The two foes never have screen time together as their stories live separate lives, tangled by their connection to ROPER, and so without that nourishment from the other actor, West and Gress use their talents to virtually interact with one another, developing a realistic struggling relationship that isn’t really there. The characters that surround Desmond and Cotton are negatively affected by both main characters and Mei Melançon’s supporting character Nora Huntsman figures into that coded nightmare as she becomes affectionate with Desmond. Even though he’s married, Nora feels the urge to fulfill her needs after separating herself from addictions: gaming, abusive boyfriend, and drugs. Melançon, who had portrayed a minor role as a major character, Psylocke, in the mutant world of “X-Men: The Last Stand,” had another hugely important role as a side dish techie lover, but her role doesn’t seem very present and that might because of the editing technique to create the dooming cyber vision.
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Netter’s resulting editing style inefficiently told the story, I thought. We’re well aware that ROPER can mislead the performance buggy human race, but ROPER, in my mind, wasn’t responsible for some of the delayed or fast forwarded actions of the characters seen through the security footage as it stylishly seemed unimportantly and pointless. Luckily, these particular editing moments are far and few in between and don’t exactly hinder the narrative. What does hinder the narrative are the quick, considerably choppy, edited scenes. Netter creates long, sometimes drawn out, scenes to convey the office solitude, but then transitions to the numerous and quickly implemented scenes that spawn a constant stop and go narrative that loses the ominous factor. The longer scenes tend to generate gloom, dread, and despair. Supporting characters become underdeveloped in the quickly edited in scenes, affecting not only life recovering Nora, but also the rest of Desmond’s team – Louis, Kevin, and Ray – who become the underdeveloped characters and they are worthless to the viewer, essentially. Still, check out the Tonya Kay scenes as you might care about hers.
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The Indie Rights Inc. produced film and MVD distributed release has a clean and sleek 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. Colors seem balanced and bright. There lies some minor noise, but that only adds to the security cam charm. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is clean and balanced in all channels and douses with Ari Balouzian’s synth soundtrack that embarks to terrorize. Balouzian’s score reminds me of Ennio Morricone’s “The Thing” theme, developing a soundtrack character that contributes to the intensity of “Nightmare Code.” Extras includes the film with commentary and a handful of featurettes explaining briefly the characters, the production, and the fear on the technology horizon. Mark Netter, along with the cast and crew, has good source material here and though this sort of tech horror isn’t exactly novel, “Nightmare Code” is fiercely entertaining and forebodingly frightening on a low-budget, startup scale.

Evil Lends a Helping Hand! “Bloody Knuckles” review!

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Travis, an underground shock comic artist, stirs up a world of trouble with Chinatown crime lord and illegal pesticide seller Leonard Fong when his latest issue of Vulgarian Invasion makes the criminal kingpin a colorfully filthy farce. In response, Fong and his goons table saw Travis’s writing hand off. With his livelihood separated from the rest of his body, Travis falls into a depressive slumber to where he doesn’t leave his apartment, find new work, or even take a stand for revenge. The same cannot be said for his decomposing hand that suddenly revives and confronts Travis. Looking to settle the score with Fong and his gang, Travis and his appendage join forces with a true to life S&M superhero based of one of Travis’s caricatures and take up arms (get it?) against Fong’s criminal syndicate.
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“Bloody Knuckles” is vulgar, distasteful, and offensive – I loved every minute of it! Director Matt O.’s (Matt O’Mahoney) debut feature film from Canada makes “Idle Hands” seem weak and childish in comparison. The “Addams Family” Thing is a cutesy puppy dog whose sporting a knitted winter sweater while the “Bloody Knuckles” Hand is cracking skulls as it’s cracking it’s own bloody knuckles in a spiked leather jacket. This Hand is more like the Ash’s evil hand from “Evil Dead 2!” There hasn’t been this much fun in a film in awhile and I’m considering the Matt O. film to be one of my favorite horror Blu-ray releases of 2015 from Artsploitation Films. “Bloody Knuckles” has it all: limitless violence, scrupulous comedy, glorified gore, a penchant for the politically incorrect, nudity, a living severed hand, and a gay S&M badass looking to spank to death the opposition.
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Mainly, the underlying message of “screw censorship” hits, in a good way, the main artery for this reviewer as our lovely site, Its Bloggin’ Evil, is all about pushing the boundaries, divulging the full story, and leaving everything out on the table for all to bare witness. Being crass is nice too and that’s “Bloody Knuckles” schtick; a unique stance that most films and filmmakers won’t risk due to the fear of their work not being picked up and released, shunned and stored deep in the depressing closets of death and disparity. “Bloody Knuckles” splays the notion of artistic freedom throughout the duration and in many different formats from comics, to the press, and to shock art.
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The special effects were top notch quality and handled by the Academy Award-nominated company Image Engine of Vancouver, who had their hands mixed into major studio work such as James Gunn’s “Slither,” HBO’s highly praised television series “Game of Thrones,” and the prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” The Hand, whether as a live hand with makeup or a prosthetic one, never looked underfunded or cheesy. The Hand was given a Frankenstein life and was appropriately made into a sympathetic character. Even though Hand is part of Travis, Hand is actually a woman’s hand, Krista Magnusson’s hand to be exact, and not even for a second will you be able to tell. The rest of the effects don’t disappoint; the exaggerated gruesomeness of certain effects shots brings back memories of watching “The Stuff” and “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky!”
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Aside from Krista Magnusson, the lineup of actors and actresses were destined to portray these character roles. Kasey Ryne Mazak as the ruthless and merciless Leonard Fong had pegged perfectly the well-dressed with an oversized ego but with a short stature stereotype. Dwayne Bryshun as Homo Dynamous, a Travis’s gay S&M superhero, brings to life such as an extravagant character, turning a simple gay caricature into a living and breathing bondage Bond. Lead actor Adam Boys as Travis could turn on the charm, the sarcasm, and the girly scream on a dime and so naturally that Travis instantly becomes a likable character. The witty and gritty banter between all the characters, even Hand using the type-to-speech function on Travis’s computer, is well written and doesn’t bog down the blitzkrieg story.

I can’t say I’ve yet to come across a poor release from Artsploitation Films. Aside from a controversial and entertaining subject matter of the films, the Blu-ray’s 1.78:1 aspect ratio has great quality that can outshine many competitors. The Blu-ray of “Bloody Knuckles” contains a clean and sharp image that doesn’t become murky in the darkness to which the film is mostly set, whether being night outside or in dark inside quarters. There’s slight posterization during the a few pitch black night sequences, but I found that everything was nicely outlined or visible without little interference from it. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is the preferable option if you have the equipment; the dialogue is at the forefront which is key for this film and the rest of the tracks are well-balanced. Other audio options include a 5.1 Dolby Digital and a 2.0 Dolby Stereo. There are tons of extras clocking around 130 minutes worth of content and the icing on the cake with the whole release is a portion of Travis’s comic Vulgarian Invasion on the reverse side of the Blu-ray cover art. Hands down, “Bloody Knuckles” is a must own!

Indie Evil Whips Horror Back Into True Form! “HI-8: Horror Independent Eight” review!

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On the heals of my review for excellent “Hillbilly Horror Show Vol. 1,” the next review had to be another anthology. There was a must-watch horror short attitude swirling in the cold air. Out of everything that lies on the review docket, by chance “HI-8 (Horror Independent Eight) was next on the chopping block and already the drool slithered itself from the corner’s of my horror-hungry mouth. “HI-8” brings together the best-of-the-best shot on video horror directors of the last three decades and where going back to your roots is not so much a challenge for the eight horror-short directors, but rather a natural like riding a bike scenario.

0: “No Budget Films Present…” by Brad Sykes
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The anthology begins with a wrap around short entitled “No Budget Films Present…” and starts off innocent enough with three young and inspired horror filmmakers creating a slasher picture of a female jogger being terrorized by a masked killer. The short weaves in and out between the other shorts and during the intermediate of the story a terrifying myth is laid out about a face-ripping fiend who stalks the very location where they’re shooting their movie. By the end, you can only imagine the fates of our young filmmakers.

“No Budget Films Presents…” is directed by Brad Sykes who happens to also a co=producer of “HI-8.” The short isn’t the campiness of eight and is a bit hard to follow due to the choppiness of the in-and-out story telling between other shorts, but the story is still very solid and the ending is nothing short of a surprise. With great creature effects and a use of a video camera, this innocent story turns deadly and chilling real quick.

1: “Switchblade Insane” by Tim Ritter
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“Switchblade Insane” follows the marital complications between a killer, the Switchblade Butcher, and his wife. The Switchblade Butcher feels the need to kidnap, rape, and murder his female victims and when his wife confronts his ghastly actions at gun point and caught red handed, he persuades her to join in his blood-letting ecstasy. Her lust for blood was just as thirsty as his and brought their relationship to new heights. As the story of the Switchblade Butcher is being told by the wife, the lines become blurred between killer and wife and the ending provides a better than M. Night Shyamalan twist!

Director Tim Ritter is one of my all time favorite shot on video directors. “Truth or Dare? A Critical Mass” is one my personal favorite films and to see his name as one of the directors gave me goosebumps. Ritter doesn’t disappoint bring out his A game witi “Switchblade Insane.” The story is freshly twisted and the laid out perfectly frame by frame to leave a lasting impression with no too much gore to try and ingest.

2: “A Very Bad Situation” by Marcus Koch
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A handful of desparate survivors steadfast in a cramp and tight-knit garage after a exotic meteor-shower slowly turns humans into hideous flesh-eating monstrous transformations. Suspicions run rampant, weapons are drawn against one another, and nobody trusts the other as anybody could be infected in this John Carpenter-esque “The Thing” type horror short.

As aforementioned, Carpenter had already done this similar scenario in the arctic with a group of station inhabits who are imitated precisely by an alien being. The first minute, minute and half, is a bunch of stock footage of people in the masses reaping havoc and violence, but it’s the end of the short that will get your heart racing when the creature unveils itself to the group in a very practical and gross special effects way.

3: “The Tape” by Tony Masiello
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An obsolete VHS rental store is shutting the doors for good and store clerk Tim is able to take one of the VHS tapes home with him as part of a severance package type deal. He pops in the tape to find that it’s an unfinished, self-taped film entitled Bloodgasm. Just as the name suggest, Bloodgasm is a more gory and colorful version of the tape in “The Ring.” Tim becomes engrossed to the point where raunchy sex with his girlfriend is nearly non-existent and can’t sway his attention away from the screen. His obsession is so strong that he researches the tape and finds the director who wishes to finish (off) the film with Tim and his girlfriend.

“The Tape” will have your entrails running for dear life. The tape is nothing but shock and gore and I get why Tim loves it due to it’s realistic effect. This is another short that deserves kudos for the awesome twist ending. Though the events are rather rushed, Masiello is able to squeeze everything to provide a well coherent, gut wrenching, bloody festive screening.

4: “Gang Them Style” by Ron Bonk
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A zombie breakout ensues. One man decides to break into a nursing home to save his Nana. He takes on more than he can chew as Nana brings with her a handful of other nursing home residents. The long 10 foot walk between the exit doors and the minivan is the dangerous journey the survivors must make in order to survive the ordeal.

By far the campiest short of the all, “Gang Them Style” incorporates and pays homage to the indie horror icons and classics especially such with John Carpenter, names of the characters from “The Thing” are reused for some the cast in “Gang Them Style” and some of a few taglines made in the dialogue as well; the “kick ass and chew bubble gum” comes to mind. The short doesn’t take itself serious and does a great job on homing in on the 80’s style in every way – soundtrack, camera angles, clothing, acting, effects, zombie makeup, etc.

5: “Genre Bending” by Chris Seaver
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A curvy young woman has gained a couple of creepy, sleazy stalker that she may or may not be oblivious to the fact. Once all the characters come into play, “Genre Bending” is true to the title with a a back and forth game between genre and gender.

“Genre Bending” is the least horrific film of all the shorts and plays out more like a dark comedy. The short does speak upon the terms of gender, sexism, race, and voyeurism. Even though each film is only 8 to 10 minutes long, this short feels a bit overplayed and does over stay its welcome.

6: “Thicker Than Water” by Donald Farmer
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Emily’s jealousy and paranoia wigs out her boyfriend Ted with accusations that he’s fooling around with ex-girlfriend Lauren. After Ted calms down Emily’s suspicions, She reveals reveals that she’s pregnant. But Emily isn’t quite convinced of Ted’s assurance; she wants to be completely sure so she wants Ted’s to rid of his previous relationship and takes him into the back room where Lauren sits tied up. Will Ted cut ties with Lauren for good by overseeing her demise?

Donald Farmer is the quintessential SOV director; one of the legends much in the same class as Tim Ritter. His entry is brutal and unapologetic pitting current life agains’t the past. The drastic measures Lauren takes is not fantastic or far from the truth as many will do anything for love or for a child. “Thicker Than Water” is not necessarily fresh script, but certainly visceral and emotional.

7: “The Scout” by Brad Sykes
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Director Adrian is scouting the desert for the perfect location for his next film and tagging along is Madison, an aspiring actress. When their car breaks down by a run down structure, Madison has a few choice words for Adrian and embarks on her own back to town as she is already late for potential acting gig. When she becomes lost, she circles back and can’t locate Adrian. Instead, she locates his camera and is shocked by the found footage.

“The Scout” is a bit more spellbinding and greatly introducing more blood than his wrap around short “No Budget Films Presents…” The sheer mystery of the camera’s ability to see into the future could have been explored a little more instead near the end of the short, but this provides a mysterious and supernatural tidbit that leaves open the chilling story.

8: “The Request” by Todd Sheets
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A late night radio DJ is being phone stalked when counting down the top music hits. The calls are mysterious, menacing, and spooky giving a tingle down the DJ’s spine. He thinks a prank is being played on his good nature, but the DJ has a secret – a secret that haunts him and, eventually, catches up with him even from the grave.

Todd Sheets Lives! The legendary SOV director stirs in his own gruesome material into a story that eerily resembles a Stephen King story. The film speaks about the ultimate betrayal and proves that karma is a bitch. Timing of the story is enough to keep your attention quenched and the ending will eat your heart out!

“Hi-8” brings the beloved 80’s and 90’s analog horror back to the small screen giving future generations only a small taste of CGI-less horror. The nostalgia for this review alone is over-stimulating. Greats like Todd Sheets, Tim Ritter, and Brad Sykes are not a dying breed, but rather an underlying threat to mainstream horror, lying and waiting for tween horror acolytes to drop dead and have SOV rise from the tomb once again. Check out this Wild Eye Releasing DVD that is already out on shelves ready to be picked up, watched, and loved.

Nudity Report

Bobbi Beach – Breasts

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Kayla Barbour – Breasts

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