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Days Gone Review: A Cliche Open-World Zombie Love Story

Days Gone follows every post-apocalypse cue in the book. It does combat, level design, and bike riding well but struggles to overcome a basic story.

Zombies are everywhere. Yes, of course, they’re everywhere in Sony Bend’s open-world game Days Gone, but they’re also everywhere in our apocalypse-obsessed culture. On TV there’s the immensely popular Walking Dead and its admittedly less popular spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. Jim Jarmusch’s star-studded zombie film The Dead Don’t Die will release in theaters this June. And the undead can already be seen in a plethora of video games (Left 4 Dead and the recently released World War Z to give just two examples). In a crowded field, Days Gone establishes itself with the AAA world building and hours of content one would expect, but is supported by a story so lackluster, it’s hard to stay engaged and keep fighting.

Though the devs may insist that Days Gone doesn’t have any zombies, the so-called “freakers” sure follow all the tropes of the recently-risen-from-the-grave. There’s the rotting skin, the hunger for human flesh, and the tendency to prefer dark places and large groups. How exactly the virus spread and what they are called by bikers and their compatriots are semantics. The only cliche missing from the game is “friend-bitten-and-doesn’t-want-to-turn,” but it’s easy to miss it anyways as players will likely skip through the several hours of cutscenes that feel right at home in your least favorite season of your favorite zombie show.

Related: Days Gone is 30 Hours Long, With 6 Hours of Cutscenes

Days Gone‘s biggest hurdle was trying to find a name for itself, so it doubled down by adding the preface “biker” to the “-open world game” tag. The story follows Deacon St. John, a man who wears the cut of the Mongrels MC, an Oregon-based motorcycle gang. It’s been two years since the zombie- sorry, “freaker” apocalypse and Deacon has all but given up hope finding his wife, Sarah.

In the first of many cutscenes peppered throughout the game, the player witnesses Deacon put the injured Sarah on a helicopter, staying behind in an infested city with his ride-or-die pal, Boozer. Through context, we discover that the helicopter crashed and Sarah perished, and Deacon blames himself. Now he wanders the wastelands of a ruined world searching for freakers to kill and a way to put meaning back into his life. The “dead-wife” trope isn’t really buoyed by anything substantive; there’s glimmers of a past that might come back to haunt Deacon, and colorful characters light up the otherwise bleak world, but they’re little more than dressing to Deacon’s main goal.

Deacon is a drifter (a fact the game will never let you forget), wandering from camp to camp in the Pacific Northwest. Early on, players encounter Copeland, a free-radio loving leader of a small group of survivors, and Tucker, who runs a “work-camp” to the west, though more camps are introduced in the later game. Missions mostly consist of running errands for either party, such as rescuing hostages from other gangs, clearing marauder outposts, and carrying out bounties. These missions are all expertly designed, and though the majority are only optional, should be played. Whether the player is zooming past the tall pines, chasing down a rogue biker, or sneaking into a freaker-infested day-spa, discovering your preferred play-style and mastering the mechanics of Days Gone is a joy. Luckily, completing a mission not only rewards the player with satisfaction (and credits to spend at the corresponding camp),  but also increases their “trust” in you. The higher the player’s trust rating, the more gear is available for purchase.

And Days Gone has gear in spades. Aside from upgrading weapons to take down literal hordes of freakers, there are also bike upgrades to make your hot rod, hotter. Nitro is the most cartoonish and most immediately useful, giving players that extra burst of speed to close the distance to an enemy or widen it from a hundred or so flesh-eating foes. Weapons include traditional shotguns, low-level pistols, and expensive heavy-duty machine guns. But even as you obtain the highest level of gear, the main selling-point of the game never gets easy: wiping out hordes is a challenge that will keep players invested in the infestation long after the campaign is complete.

From the beginning, Sony Bend made it a point to showcase Days Gone‘s incredible environments and beautiful weather system. Your surroundings can change on a dime, as clouds brew overhead and rain begins to fall, or the mountainous terrain gets its first bit of snow. But interrupting that tranquility are thousands of freakers, grouped together in a “horde.” These are by far the toughest enemies in the game despite there being loads of mutated boss freakers, like infected bears and giant “breakers.” Sure, they go down in a few body shots, but they can easily overwhelm Deacon and take his health from 100 to 0 in a second flat. It’s a tricky business of planning your attack, making sure you have enough supplies and the right weapons, and kiting the horde through choke points, taking out 20 or so at a time. The average horde appears to have around several hundred members, so it can take a while to burn ’em down, but finally besting a horde is immensely satisfying.

When Deacon isn’t dealing with fighting freakers, he’s battling other survivors. There are plenty of drifter gangs that are not distinguishable from your own  groups (begging the question, why exactly do they have to die so gruesomely?) but the Rippers really make a name for themselves. The Rest in Peace (RIP) gang are a group of survivors that worship the freakers and are covered head to toe in scars. Their outposts are adorned with spikes and human carcasses. These enemies are a bit more unique and less morally ambiguous than your average “just-trying-to-survive” marauder. Their general vibe is very Mad Max, which happens to be a game in which Days Gone shares many similarities.

Days Gone is set in the third-person, just like your average PS4 exclusive shooter (read: Uncharted). Aiming and firing is a highlight; it’s easy enough to snap to the head for a much-needed headshot, but doesn’t feel cheap or bot-like. Especially with the addition of “Focus” a defacto “DeadEye” from Red Dead Redemption, that allows players to slow down time when aiming, firefights are difficult not because it’s hard to land precise hits, but more because health can deplete fast and the cover system is underwhelming. Deacon can duck behind crates or fences, peeking up when the enemy reloads, but there’s a lack of precision to the movement; he doesn’t flush to the wall, just hides near it. This is a more traditionally first-person mechanic that doesn’t work quite as well in the 3rd.

Driving Deacon’s “hog” around is freeing. Not only does it allow the player to escape most encounters, but the rush of passing by lingering freaker clusters or scenic waterfalls never gets old. Though a player may occasionally run out of fuel and not be anywhere near a gas station or randomly-found gas can, more often than not, the road is where you’ll find great moments of play: encounters with survivors, freakers, or enemies. They can be passed by or provide a welcome detour to the long journey on the road.

But through all its content, Days Gone seems to only borrow from well-established titles, without providing much in terms of nuance or innovation. Take its crafting system, straight out of The Last of Us. Deacon can make a bit more than Joel, pipe bombs for instance, but design remains the same. Players pick up (or loot from bodies) crafting materials like rags, nails, sterilizer, etc., and use these to instantly pop a survival item into existence. They can also upgrade melee weapons to be less degradable and more powerful, adding a saw blade to a bat or wire to a 2X4. The UI is well-made, but like a lot of Days Gone, it’s all been done before.

One small thing that Days Gone does really well is the menu, allowing players to access upgradable skills, the map, objectives, and inventory with a single swipe on the PS4 controller pad. It’s a nice touch and really streamlines the importance of checking in on how many credits Deacon might have at the time, what side missions can still be accessed, and how far away a horde might be. The “Story” section itself does a superb job of showing how much of the story is complete and at what percentage completion awards like vehicle skins and crafting recipes are given. Skills as well come with a fun twist: there’s Melee, Ranged, and Survival categories, each with different tiers. Each tier contains three purchasable skills (with xp) but only two are needed to access the next tier. This makes for a fun meta-game of choosing the most useful skills (or those most attuned to your playstyle). The polish here might have been used across the rest of the game.

Days Gone requires a lot of processing power, with massive amounts of enemies on screen at once and detailed textured environments that change from day to night. Unfortunately on the base PS4, this means there is a lot of loading lag. Frames will drop to an unplayable sub-20 a second or textures will fail to load completely leading to game-breaking glitches. The first horde I fought got stuck on the edge of a cliff and were unable to move, making them easy target practice. A mission towards the finale skipped over a major fight because Deacon’s bike fell through what looked to be a sturdy bridge. Nothing a few patches can’t fix, but it doesn’t erase the main issue: players shouldn’t need a PS4 Pro to run a PS4 game.

Days Gone nails the tone and theme of a zombie game and sticks to its guns. “Surviving ain’t living” is a phrase uttered by Boozer, the heart and soul of the game. But these messages and great high-concept questions are handled about as deftly as you might expect from a person named Boozer. It’s all show with none of the punch that The Last of Us had. Deacon is generally unlikable, killing plenty of non-freakers in a very Nathan Drake-like fashion. He is so overly committed to his biker-shtick even after the world has ended that his motives feel sort of goofy and dated. He rabbles incessantly about “not killing unarmed women,” while others talk about how “chivalry isn’t dead.” This macho-man perspective sort of puts a damper on some of the more interesting side-narratives. It’s disappointing that the protagonist is a practical Rick Grimes that gives an “impassioned” speech about why there are no black members in his biker gang in a confusingly unnecessary and poorly-written flashback.

The game features so many disjointed story moments, where the player sits and watch Deacon interact, then is put in control to move him about 20ft, then watches another cutscene. It gives the appearance of the game being unfinished, where either less or more interactivity might have solved this issue (and cut down on loading screens). Additionally, the ludonarrative dissonance of Deacon and others appearing more “civilized” than other groups, then mowing down hundreds of relatively innocent humans is hard to look past. The acting is pretty good across the board, but Deacon’s constant yelling on nearly every line deliver gets old fast. On a whole, the story is so rote and tired, that by the end, players might just want in to end.

And that’s a shame because Days Gone has a lot of well-crafted moments. Most missions are satisfyingly tough and leave a lot of room for play-style flexibility. Side storylines pack a bit of emotional punch and shift the viewpoint a bit further from “whitest dude in Oregon.” Battling hordes and riding the ol’ bike through broken roads and dirt paths provide both the greatest challenge and the most relaxing experience. Everything that is done well is done very well, but this game feels less made by a group of passionate devs and more like it was made by an algorithm. Zombies, check, crafting, check, gritty veneer, and so on. So even while painstakingly taking out every horde, there’s nothing to fall back on; no friends with whom Deacon can share his glory. The world and story of Days Gone are lonely, but if an open-world Last of Us meets Son of Anarchy sounds like your thing, then it might be worth the slog to kill some freakers.

More: Days Gone Dev Insists Freakers Are Not Zombies

Days Gone is out on April 26th on the Playstation 4 for $59.99. Screen Rant was provided with a digital copy for the purposes of this review.


2019-04-25 05:04:54

Ty Sheedlo

10 Zombie Stereotypes Santa Clarita Diet Destroys

These days there’s no shortage of zombies. Whether its in film or TV the walking dead are everywhere and they’re after your brains. Most of these shows follow a certain formula, utilising stereotypes and a certain set of genre tropes, to bring the undead to live on screen. One show that’s destroying and rebirthing zombie stereotypes is the Netflix family comedy Santa Clarita Diet. 

RELATED: Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 Review: Netflix’s Zombie Comedy Gets Even Weirder

Starring Drew Barrymore and fellow Scream alum Timothy Elephant, the show follows a middle class couple, working together in real estate and trying to raise their spunky sixteen year old daughter. Things get a little messy when Barrymore’s Sheila wake one morning with a serious hunger for human flesh. Yes, she’s a zombie, but she’s a zombie of her own. Here are ten stereotypical zombie traits which the show has torn to shred.

10 DISHEVELED APPEARANCE

Zombies are undead and it would be fair to say traditionally most of them look as if they’ve just crawled out of the grave. Their clothes are old, torn and dirty. Their hair is matted. It’s not a pretty site.

Sheila on the other hand has never looked better. It’s true, being undead really agrees with the real estate broker. Her skin is radiant, her hair is immaculately styled. She’s radiant. The zombies from The Walking Dead need to get a new stylist.

9 DECOMPOSING SKIN

This one goes hand in hand with number 10, not that you’d want to hold hands with a traditional zombies. Most are in serious need of a good moisturiser and a visit to the dermatologist. Their flesh is usually seen rotting, falling off the bone, dry and deteriorated. Not Sheila though.  Sheila is completely intact, looking dewy fresh, like the day she died. Her ‘dead-ness’ may have stopped her heart but nothing can stop that skin care regime.

8 UNRESPONSIVE TO COMMUNICATION

If you’re hanging out in a grave yard or down a dark alley during the zom-pocalypse there’s no more frightening sound than the incoherent groans of a zombie swarm. Most of these rotting creatures can’t muster more than a moan or a monosyllabic vocabulary let alone the quick witted one liners and social commentary offered up by Sheila.

RELATED: What to Expect from Santa Clarita Diet Season 3

Yes, SCD is a comedy and without her gift of gab the show would be pretty one note. Sheila’s zombie is well spoken and communicative. She needs to be to wrestle her family life and the life of a flesh eating monster. She’s also got incredible comedic timing. Something most other groaning goons would kill for.

7 NO CONCEPT OF BOUNDARIES

Yes, it’s true becoming a zombie did things for Sheila’s confidence. Suddenly she was assertive, bordering on bossy, now that she has fresh meat on the mind, but she still retained a concept of socially acceptable behaviour, and along with that a proper sense of personal space and boundaries. This differs from pretty much all of the zombies we’ve seen before. Think about it. How many times has an entire horde of the undead closed in on their victim, leaving little space to breath let alone escape. Sheila is unlike these zombies. She might be undead but she isn’t rude.

6 LIMITED MOBILITY (THE ZOMBIE WALK)

With perhaps the exception of moaning the word ‘brains’ over and over, nothing is more synonymous with zombies than their peculiar gait. The zombie walk is a time honoured tradition. That wobbly, unstable waddle, usually with both arms straight out in front is instantly recognisable and practiced the world over. There is, however, none of that here.

There is no difference in Sheila’s mobility from the day she was lil the day she died and then became undead. If anything the change has only made her more spritely! And horny. Which requires a certain amount of coordination which traditionally is beyond the capabilities of garden variety zombies.

5 MOTIVATED TO EAT BRAINS

Yes, Sheila is hungry for blood. She basically devoured Nathan Fillion’s ‘Gary’ in one sitting but unlike her old school companions her hunger goes beyond a simple yearning for brains.

RELATED: Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 Trailer: No Family Is Perfect

This one is less often adhered to, especially in recent cinema. Zombie’s have wanted all kinds of human appendages and body parts for a while now. But, the brain hungry stereotype is classic. It’s looked over here for messier delights, like intestines and feet.

4 NO CONSCIOUSNESS

In the good old days of zombie flicks these undead beasts were usually completely brain dead. Sometimes their propensity for being brain dead was the motivating factor behind their hunger for brains. IN other instances, zombies have been brainless because they’re the puppet army of some other supernatural ruler, like a witch or voodoo practitioner.

Not so here. Sheila is whip smart while she’s alive and even more so now that she’s a zombie. Her smarts aren’t just visible in her humour but in the careful planning and strategic approach in the quest for flesh. As she attempt to live a life as close to normal she has to be cunning in order to find and devour her meals without being caught by nosey neighbours.

3 PRONE TO VIOLENCE

Zombies are stereotypically not that friendly. Meaning that more often than not their hunger for brains usually makes them indiscriminately violent. They have no consciousness and therefore no remorse and no hesitation. They’ll tear you limp from limp just for an afternoon snack.

Sheila is less violent than that. Sure, she bit off a couple of Gary’s fingers in a rather spontaneous act of violence but since then she’s been more calculating. Any kind of attack or brutality is the result of a botched attempt to retain some of her humanity.

2 UNEMOTIONAL

Just like traditionally zombies are without consciousness, they are also devoid of human emotion. Essentially, zombies are most often portrayed as no longer being human. Some fun has been had with the addition of emotion into the zombie story, such as in the book/film Warm Bodies, which added a romantic storyline to a standard zombie story.

RELATED: Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 Finale Puts The Series On An Unexpected Path

Here, Sheila retains her emotions. She continues to love her husband and her daughter. Becoming a zombie even tightens her emotions. Her desire for fun and spontaneity a symptom of that.

1 THE STENCH

That’s right. Just image how bad a zombie, with rotting flesh and an outfit fresh from the grave, would smell. Gross. Well, as far as it’s possible to tell without actually smelling her, Sheila seems to have retained her human aroma. Probably for the best as she still shares a room with her husband. It appears as if the Hammond family are safe on the stench front. Just one of the many zombie stereotypes the show destroys.

NEXT: 10 Best Zombie Movies Of All Time


2019-04-08 09:04:10

Joshua Dean Perry

Santa Clarita Diet Sean 3 Review: Netflix’s Zombie Comedy Gets Even Weirder

Few shows excel at being so unabashedly weird as Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, and fewer still manage to blend the inherent weirdness of something like, say, a suburban zombie sitcom, with humor that functions outside the immediate predicament of Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) Hammond — the suburban couple dealing with matters of the undead. For two seasons, the gory comedy has been constructing a surprisingly rich (albeit absurd) mythology around its unique take on zombies, turning the usually brainless shambling corpses into surprisingly lived-in characters, who nonetheless still have an endless appetite for human flesh. 

Aside from being a sharply written, well acted, and consistently witty comedy, Santa Clarita Diet deserves praise for its decompressed storytelling, which has allowed creator and showrunner Victor Fresco to spend 30 episodes telling only the first month or so of the Hammondses’ first-hand experience with that whole zombie thing. To be fair, the series isn’t plot driven so much as it’s characters are driven by self preservation and the need to find solutions to a seemingly never-ending cascade of obstacles and challenges, many of which arise as a consequence to the most recent solution found by Sheila, Joel, their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and neighbor Eric (series MVP, Skyler Gisondo). 

More: What We Do In The Shadows Review: Maybe The Funniest Show On TV Right Now

In a sense, Santa Clarita Diet season 3 becomes inadvertently meta-textual as the series is faced with a number of casting dilemmas presumably caused by members of the supporting cast — namely, Nathan Fillion, Natalie Morales, and Zachary Knighton — moving on to other projects (The Rookie, Abby’s, and Magnum P.I.). But Santa Clarita Diet is nothing if not game to have a little fun at its own expense, explaining Fillion’s absence by way of the ongoing deterioration of what’s left of Gary’s body. Similarly, Knighton’s Knight of Serbia, Paul, asks his sharpshooting brother (Ethan Suplee) to take his place, so he can move to Hawaii. Thankfully, Morales is able to stick around for a little while longer, as her character, Anne Garcia, overcommits to Shiela after being convinced her undead-ness is actually a sign from God. 

Unlike Anne, Santa Clarita Diet doesn’t overcommit to any of its plot threads. The majority wind up resolved thanks in large part to Shiela and Joel’s moxie, Abby’s fear-inducing stubbornness, or Eric’s clumsy charm. Some, though, get resolved off screen; a character in question might just disappear and no one seems to notice because they’re too busy (the audience included) dealing with the next big thing threatening to expose Sheila’s secret and put the Hammonds away for a good long time. The constant influx of new obstacles and challenges helps keep the show moving at an incredibly fast pace, a feature that not only helps justify what might be thought of as an attention deficit, but it also prevents the season’s 10 half-hour episodes from sagging in the middle like so many other streaming shows. 

That’s not to say Santa Clarita Diet is aimless, by any means. In fact, with each passing season it’s managed to progress its story in steady increments, like introducing the Order of the Knights of Serbia, the bad clams that caused Sheila’s undead condition, and the mysterious spidery meatballs the zombies puke up when they’re first turned. Season 3 is light on firm answers to what it all means in the grand scheme of things, but that turns out to be for the best. The series is better suited to telling a small story told on a micro scale, as opposed to delivering on the macro-narrative elements being revealed piecemeal with each new season. 

As such, season 3 is largely concerned with the question of how long Sheila, Joel, Abby, and Eric can keep this up. With law enforcement bearing down on them, the neighbors and fellow Realtors (played by Joel McHale and Maggie Lawson) growing increasingly suspicious of their odd behavior, and the promise of stranger more absurd individuals and adversaries popping up out of the woodwork, it’s beginning to feel like the Hammondses’ days are numbered. Despite the overwhelming threats to her safety, Sheila comes to the conclusion that she’s essentially immortal. That realization creates no small amount of friction between her and Joel as the question of whether or not she’ll spend the next thousand years or so alone or with her husband ultimately takes precedent in a busy, sometimes overstuffed season of undead comedy. 

Though the season introduces plenty of new characters, played by the aforementioned Ethan Suplee, as well as Goran Visnjic (Timeless), and Linda Lavin (The Good Wife), all of whom add to the laundry list of obstacles facing the lead characters, the main story boils down to a pair of will they or won’t they scenarios involving Sheila and Joel, as well as Abby and Eric. To its credit, Santa Clarita Diet has done such a remarkable job with its characters that these questions actually feel bigger and more pressing than anything involving the undead, the Knights of Serbia, or whatever else the show throws at them. 

At this point, considering how many more high-profile shows are dropping like flies on the streaming service, Santa Clarita Diet feels like an unlikely success story for Netflix. And given how things resolve themselves (or don’t) at the end of the season, that apparent success will ultimately determine whether or not audiences get to follow Sheila and Joel to the end of their story, or if Santa Clarita Diet ends up like so many supporting characters this season. 

Next: Happy! Season 2 Review: SYFY’s Over-The-Top Series Starts Off Slow But Steady

Santa Clarita Diet season 3 will stream exclusively on Netflix beginning Friday, March 29.


2019-03-28 03:03:10

Kevin Yeoman

10 Best Zombie Movies Of All Time

Few horror movie subgenres have found as big a following as the zombie film. Something about the public’s fascination with death and the fantasy of starting the world anew in a post-apocalyptic wasteland has made zombie stories universally adored. The highest rated drama series on TV is a zombie show. Brad Pitt made a zombie movie in 2013 that grossed over $500 million at the worldwide box office.

RELATED: George Romero Invented the Modern Zombie Horror Genre

As with any genre, there are plenty of terrible zombie movies. But if the undead are used for sociopolitical commentary and the film is replete with all the frights and thrills that it can be and the audience cares about the characters, then it can result in a real masterpiece. So, before a virus turns us into flesh-eating monsters, here are the 10 Best Zombie Movies Of All Time.

10 Zombieland

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers behind the Deadpool movies, spent years developing ideas and concepts and gags for their zombie comedy before finally writing the screenplay. It was developed as a TV series before being turned into a movie, which meant that it was jam-packed with world-building.

100 episodes’ worth of material was squeezed into an hour and a half and it resulted in the highest grossing zombie movie in the United States (at the time). Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Emma Stone lead a terrific cast. A sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, is set for release later this year, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the original movie.

9 Night of the Creeps

Fred Dekker’s gleefully satirical homage to B-movies isn’t just a zombie movie, but it does feature an invasion of the undead. Essentially, Dekker took every hacky or clichéd situation he’d seen in zombie movies, alien invasion movies, and slasher movies, and then crammed them into a delightfully absurd and hilarious screenplay that he wrote in less than a week.

RELATED: George Romero’s Novel The Living Dead Will Be Released

The characters’ names are all taken from legendary horror directors – Carpenter, Romero, Raimi, Cameron, Cronenberg, Landis. This may be the greatest cinematic homage ever made – a postmodern joy. It is the quintessential cult film. It was made to be a cult film.

8 28 Days Later

Director Danny Boyle denies that this is a zombie film, but it is, so it gets a mention. Cillian Murphy wakes up weeks after he went under the knife for what was supposed to be a routine surgery and finds the streets empty and ravaged. It doesn’t take him long to realize a virus has spread that turned people into zombies and only a few survivors remain.

It’s been a “survival of the fittest” type situation, with only the strongest and most competent people making it this far, but Cillian Murphy’s Jim isn’t necessarily a good survivor – he just happened to be unconscious for the first month of the apocalypse. So, he’s our ticket into the post-apocalyptic world as an audience. It’s a fish-out-of-water story, which is a great way to jump right in and catch the audience up.

7 Re-Animator

Director and writer Stuart Gordon saw all the Dracula-esque movies that came around in the ‘80s to modernize the vampire genre and make it cool – Fright Night, The Lost Boys etc. – and decided to do the same for the Frankenstein story. The end result was this weird, gory, messed-up Lovecraftian tale of reanimated severed heads and sexual abuse.

One of the movie’s greatest assets is its musical score, composed by the great Richard Band in the style of Bernard Herrmann’s unnerving score for Psycho. Whether you think Re-Animator is any good or not, you can’t deny that it’s a dark, twisted, and very unique piece of work.

6 Train to Busan

This South Korean zombie flick presents itself less as a horror film and more like an action movie. The zombies don’t dawdle like Romero-era flesh-eaters do – they can sprint and jump, which makes them even scarier. Either way, it’s an intense and visceral moviegoing experience as a father and his estranged daughter find themselves caught in the middle of a zombie uprising while taking a train across the country.

The passengers all turn against each other and the movie becomes a study of class. There are also themes of guilt as certain characters realize they were directly involved in the accidental release of the virus.

5 Night of the Living Dead

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was the first ever modern zombie film, so it can be forgiven for not being perfect. It certainly succeeds at being one of the most innovative and groundbreaking horror films ever made.

RELATED: George Romero’s Son Announces Rise of the Living Dead Prequel

The dead rise from their graves and start eating and infecting the living, so an eclectic bunch of survivors end up locking themselves away in someone’s farm, only to find that the living might make for even worse enemies to them than the undead. This is a formula that’s been repeated by countless movies and TV shows since. How many films can that be said for?

4 REC

A mistake that a lot of zombie movies make is trying to show the zombie apocalypse on an epic scale. The filmmakers bite off more than they can chew (so to speak) as they attempt to depict a virus spreading across an entire country – or the world! – turning people into flesh-eating mutants. But found-footage tale REC keeps things refreshingly intimate and realistic.

A TV journalist and her camera crew find themselves quarantined in an apartment building as a zombie virus slowly spreads among the small cast of characters. The sprinting undead mixed with the shaky camera movements make this a petrifying work of horror cinema.

3 ParaNorman

The closest thing ever made to a zombie movie for kids that captures the terror and fun of zombie movies for adults, ParaNorman is a stop-motion horror comedy adventure produced by the good people at Laika. Laika may not be as big as Pixar or DreamWorks yet, but it is quietly becoming one of the most inventive voices in animation.

With stars like Jeff Garlin and Leslie Mann and Casey Affleck in the voice cast, the movie can be enjoyed by adults as well as kids. It’s fun for the whole family! That’s not something that can be said of many zombie movies.

2 Shaun of the Dead

The first installment of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright’s Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy might also be the strongest. It certainly has the tightest script, which doesn’t waste a single line – either developing the plot or developing the characters, and always very funny – and uses every literary device in the book, including one inspired foreshadowing scene that lays out the whole plot of the movie early on.

RELATED: Simon Pegg Reveals Shaun of the Dead Vampire Sequel Idea

Shaun of the Dead isn’t a spoof of the zombie genre – it’s a zombie movie that affectionately homages every trope of the zombie genre and also happens to be hilarious. But it’s also an emotional ride with a genuine investment in its characters and their relationships.

1 Dawn of the Dead

George A. Romero defined the modern zombie with his 1968 masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, but it wouldn’t be until a decade later, in 1978, that he perfected the zombie movie with the sequel Dawn of the Dead. Whereas the first movie had commented on racism, this one tackled consumerism in a satirical fashion. The survivors end up holing up in a shopping mall that is quickly swarmed with the undead.

Romero’s point is that we’re already mindless zombies flocking to the mall. It’s more relevant than ever today with everyone plugged into AirPods and iPads and cell phones. But this would all be meaningless if it wasn’t frightening, tightly plotted, engaging, and filled with characters you care about – luckily, it succeeds on all counts.

NEXT: 10 Zombies With GREAT Personalities!


2019-03-05 05:03:04

Ben Sherlock

Bunkheads Review: An Actual Zombie Apocalypse Would Be Funnier

It’s safe to say that the zombie craze which dominated nearly all forms of media for years now has more or less run its course. Like humanity in the face of the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead’s ratings are in decline, aside from a few interesting twists on the same scenario (The Girl With All the Gifts, Train to Busan, and Cargo, for instance) it’s been a minute since a zombie movie felt like a necessary part of popular culture, and, for the most part, television seems more concerned with aping the Game of Thrones model than hopping aboard a train that has clearly left the station. As such, the web comedy turned Amazon Prime Video series, Bunkheads, not only fails to execute a fresh take on the genre, but the series is so woefully unfunny it makes sitting through an actual zombie apocalypse seem preferable. 

Creator and writer Will Gong and director Lauren Kilxbul have a sound idea: four people trapped in a bunker a year into the zombie apocalypse find it’s as difficult dealing with the living as it is the dead — walking or otherwise. But, while the idea is a solid one, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. For starters, the only way someone watching Bunkheads would know its a comedy is by reading the logline, which describes the four survivors as “zany” (spoiler: they’re not), but instead should just label them as what they are: intolerable. Bunkheads suffers from a problem common among many comedies today: it equates obnoxious with humorous, and thinks characters flinging barbed observations at one another is the same as following a joke through from setup to punchline.

More: The Gifted Fall Finale Review: The Series Delivers A Big Win For Mutankind

Films like Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies, and Zombieland all stand as proof that there’s humor to be mined in worlds ravaged by the undead. Bunkheads however, treats its biggest selling point — i.e., the zombie apocalypse — as an afterthought, focusing instead on the interpersonal squabbles of its four survivors, Cash (Khalif Boyd), Matt (Josh Covitt), Kip (Chris O’Brien), and Dani (Carly Turro). Again, the idea is full of potential: the relative safety of a fully stocked underground bunker mitigates the danger of the hordes of undead skulking around outside, but, as the saying goes: hell is other people. At times it almost seems as though Gong is aiming to make that the joke of the series, suggesting that, for any one of these characters, facing the end of the world alone would be preferable to spending another minute with the other three. But the writing never fully commits to that idea — or any other idea, really. Instead, Bunkheads is content being a mundane sitcom that unfolds within a very specific setting. The problem is, the series only occasionally wants to acknowledge its backdrop, as if zombies were tacked on at the last minute as a way of drumming up interest for its crowdfunding efforts. 

That Bunkheads only occasionally offers evidence of its characters’ dire circumstances stems from what is clearly the series’ very limited means. But in more capable hands, having what appears to be one-tenth the production budget of a public access television show could have worked in the show’s favor. Unfortunately, Bunkheads demonstrates none of the creative inventiveness born of such necessity. Instead, the series most often settles for non-jokes, like Matt being excited about finding fish sticks (never mind the obvious questions of why someone would think perishables would be viable a year into the apocalypse), or worse, Kip. Yes, Bunkheads manages to turn an entire character into a litany of bad jokes. Kip, an obnoxious white guy who moved to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a famous rapper, is obsessed with Dani, and, as the show reveals in episode 2, is also a virgin. Even in the most skilled hands it would be a challenge to turn any of the above into serviceable comedy, and Bunkheads handles the material about as well as you might expect. 

A very generous read would suggest Bunkheads’ aim is to mine humor from the idea that each character’s one-dimensionality makes them particularly ill-suited to survive in such a harsh environment, and that therein lies the crux of the series. But time and again, the show’s writing works in opposition to any idea larger than: people in close proximity to one another tend to get on each other’s nerves. Credit is due to everyone involved for making a go at this project with such limited resources, but the fact remains that Bunkheads doesn’t work as either a comedy or fresh take on the zombie genre. 

Next: Counterpart Review: The Sci-Fi Spy Series Delivers A Superb Start To Season 2

Bunkheads is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.



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2018-12-13 02:12:03

Scrapped The Blob Remake Concept Art Reveals Rob Zombie’s Vision

Early concept art for Rob Zombie’s The Blob remake surfaces online and the images illustrate the different vision he may have had for the film. At one point 10 years ago Zombie had his eyes set on remaking the classic horror film, The Blob. Zombie’s take on the horror classic was set to be darker in tone, but no such film ever happened.

The Blob first terrified audiences in 1958, and focused on an alien life form consuming everything in sight in a small town. Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth, and penned by Kay Linaker and Theodore Simonson, the film would become a cult classic. It would launch the career of Steve McQueen and would spawn a sequel in 1972 and a remake in 1988. Chuck Russell directed the late 80s re-imagining that altered the alien’s back story. While the films have a following (specifically the 1958 & 1988 versions), they are still considered underrated gems for the science fiction horror sub-genre. Now, while Zombie’s plans for his remake may have fallen through the cracks, at least now a taste of what his vision could have looked like is accessible.

Related: Horror Movie Monsters That Scared You as Children

Posted by Alex Horley, the concept art for the unmade Zombie The Blob remake shows off humans with mutated skin, and a fifth annual event being held in the town. Judging from one image, it seems a graveyard would have been featured in the film with the mutated victims. Another image highlights a woman battling deformed, conjoined blob attack victims in front of a local diner. This role was presumably for Sheri Moon as she has always participated, in some fashion, in Zombie’s films in the past. Take a look at Horley’s concept art below.

Zombie’s remake faced some issues with others involved in the project, so that’s what ultimately led to him stepping away. Zombie wanted to give his own twist to the story just like he had done with his Halloween films before that. In response to his disagreements with those involved in the project, Zombie stated:

“The Blob was going to happen. I was dealing with people on the movie, even though I was on the fence about doing anything that was considered a remake again. I really didn’t like the idea of that, but just as I went down the road further with the producers and the guys that owned the property, I didn’t feel good about the situation and I just walked away from it. My gut told me this was not a good place to be.”

Zombie felt the horror aspects from the 50s and the 80s versions wouldn’t scare modern audiences so he wanted to avoid that familiar territory. This would explain the humanoid nature of the blob victims illustrated in the images, but it seems that Zombie was still going to involve the armed forces, similar to the 1988 remake, based on one of the images.

Whether or not Zombie’s vision would have actually gone over with audiences is anyone’s guess, but one has to wonder why he thought the gooey alien wouldn’t have been enough to scare audiences. If done right, the film could have been well received. Nothing regarding another film has been discussed recently but Samuel L. Jackson was at one point set to star in yet another remake for The Blob, directed by Simon West.

More: The Blob Remake Poster Sure Looks Familiar

Source: Alex Horley



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2018-12-03 02:12:16

Black Ops 4 Beginners Guide: How to Play (& Win) in Zombies Mode

The release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brings with it a variety of different gameplay options for players. Although plenty of eyes seem to be on the title’s battle royale mode, Blackout, the traditional multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch are still available. Also returning is the franchise’s Zombies game mode, this time with more options than ever before.

Indeed, Zombies is something of a different beast this time around. The mode comes complete with three maps, with two of them on the expansive side to boot. As such, new players might find it a little bit daunting, particularly given the intricacies of the game mode in comparison to some of the more simplistic elements of Call of Duty.

Related: Black Ops 4 Blackout Guide: Pro Tips For Battle Royale Beginners

Thankfully, new players can get a head start thanks to this guide. Read on to learn how to play Zombies mode, as well as some good strategies to help get that first win in what can be a tense and difficult part of Call of Duty.

What’s New In Zombies Mode?

This time around, Zombies is huge, with three different scenarios to choose from. Two of these revolve around Scarlett Rhodes and her band of misfits, with Voyage of Despair taking place aboard an RMS Titanic that had to handle a zombie threat alongside hitting an iceberg, while IX takes the team back in time to face gladiatorial combat in a Roman coliseum. Alongside this, there’s also the option to play Blood of the Dead, with the return of Richtofen, Dempsey, Takeo, and Nikolai.

Within that, the core gameplay loop remains the same. Survive waves of the zombie horde, unlocking areas of the map as and when the points are available, as the fight gets progressively tougher and tougher. This time around, though, it’s fair to say that the levels feel a little more maze-like and expansive, so make sure to be aware of the surroundings at all times to stop from getting stuck in a bottleneck.

Prioritize Your Points

As always, using points effectively is extremely important in Zombies. First and foremost, opening up areas of the map is a given, but more pressing is how the player uses their points towards perks and weapons. Although in early waves things like shotguns and pistols are all well and good, it’s important to aim to get weapons that have a faster fire rate and (most importantly) a faster reload rate as the game progresses. As such, look to weapons like the Spitfire or GKS to be most effective.

It’s also very important to improve the power of weapons as the game goes on. The most obvious way to do this is to keep returning to the Pack-a-Punch Machines once available, which give a 25% boost with each use. This does come at a considerable cost of 2,500 points per use, but it’s an undeniable way to get that firepower up.

Keep Moving

Staying static for too long in Zombies this time around is a recipe for disaster, as there is always the very real threat of being overrun by the horde. Whereas previous games could work with players cementing a position with a strong defensive line, at least for early portions of the game it’s recommended to keep moving. Not only does it avoid the issue of getting stuck in one place, but it also will keep players refreshed when it comes to where the different unlock options are in the map.

Keeping space from zombies is important for reasons other than this, too. Should one member of the team fall, they’ll have to be revived, and with a slightly longer revive time in Black Ops 4 it’s more vital than ever to have enough room to revive a teammate without having chunks taken out by an unseen zombie. This is particularly true when it comes to those special zombies that attack, so always keep an eye out.

Use Your Perks

In Black Ops 4‘s Zombies mode, players are able to use class customization for the first time. This isn’t just there for show, either, as a good grasp of what perks are available and how to use them can make the difference between success and failure. What’s more, the perks that can be chosen can actually work well for a variety of different play styles.

Those who want both power and speed could choose the likes of Deadshot Dealer, which automatically targets the zombie’s head when aiming down the sights, as well as Stamin-Up for a permanent boost to movement speed. Meanwhile, the frost explosion created by Winter’s Wail and the increased ammunition of Bandolier Bandit work well for those whose last stand may come from a more secure position. In essence, it comes down to how an individual best plays the game, and it’s good to have a variety of perks in the team to make the most of these options.

Work Together

As always, teamwork is the key to having an easier run of things in Zombies. Although it’s possible to play the game solo, this is always a challenge, and to help with this there are now bots to play with. Even so, it’s best to play with other human players, and as such taking on the game as a team of four is recommended.

It’s not just a matter of getting other human beings involved in the zombie slaughter, however. Working together cooperatively is key; don’t stray too far from one another, watch out for any fallen that need reviving, and potentially coordinate the perks used to make sure that everyone has bases covered for any eventuality. That way, the team should be set for what the game throws at them.

With these tips in mind, players should now have a solid framework to build on to get through the game’s Zombies mode. Whether taking a trip back in time to arena combat or trying to fight off zombified versions of Jack and Rose, Zombies is always a challenge for players, but with this guidance in mind players should be able to have a fighting chance of beating the supernatural threat.

More: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Trophy List Completely Revealed



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2018-10-14 02:10:08 – Rob Gordon

20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore

The horror anthology hit TV show American Horror Story just might be the magnum opus of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. Scarier and more riveting than any of the duo’s other projects, the spine-tingling series features a new theme and characters every season that are all still linked to each other’s universe. From the casting announcements to the series hints, theme reveals, and each season’s unique introductory visuals, it’s riveting entertainment all around. Even so, some seasons fall further off the mark than others, with many episodes barely even registering on the “horror” radar while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck just happened.

The thing is, we tend to give glaring errors, plot flops, and other things wrong with the show a pass because we love it so much. From intriguing horror to irresistible characters, from unexpected plot twists to some of the best storytelling on TV, American Horror Story keeps us coming back, not because it’s flawless but because it’s still addictive despite, and sometimes because of, its many flaws.

We might love a character and conveniently forget that he or she is a monster. We’ll keep tuning in even after an entire sequence left us feeling disgusted, embarrassed for the actress who had to play out the scene, or even angry at the creators themselves. It’s just that addictive.

We love it and we’ll keep coming back for me, even with these 20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore.

20 Some Seasons Aren’t Scary

With a name like American Horror Story, you might expect every episode to be a scream-fest. That’s just not the case, especially in seasons four and five. While there’s no shortage of horror-inducing characters in these seasons, they didn’t really give us nightmares like previous and subsequent seasons were able to do.

Were we jaded from all the mutants, ghosts, zombies, and other creatures in previous seasons?

Both Freak Show and Hotel fell short on promises of terror, often vying for more intense drama (a calling card of Falchuck and Murphy) instead. While we still received interesting stories, Gaga’s vampire and Twisty the Clown just weren’t all that scary.

19 There’s No Reason Given For All The Hotel Vampire Kids

In season five, Hotel, Lady Gaga’s character, The Countess Elizabeth, is a little less fabulous than we expected her to be. Perhaps she couldn’t live up to the Gaga we all know and love already. One of the things that just made zero sense about the character was her propensity to collect children and turn them into little vampires. Does Elizabeth have an old woman in the shoe complex? Is she just that bored? What is the point?

Here’s the thing about kids in horror movies: they add instant scare-factor. Take a look at most scary film kids, from Village of the Damned to The Others and you’ll see the scariest moments. The fact that the vampire kid collection wasn’t even scary was a pretty big letdown.

18 Teeth Fall From The Sky For No Reason

Season six of AHS, Roanoke, was able to recover some of the lost ground from the previous two less-scary seasons but still suffered from the lack of the one and only Jessica Lang. The season saw a return to the haunted house theme, always popular in AHS history, and wove in some new elements, like the whole “based on a true story” theme.  Between Deliverance-like hillbillies and more incredible Kathy Bates, Roanake was much better-received than Hotel, but it had some weird unexplained moments, like teeth randomly falling from the sky.

Not only do the teeth inexplicably fall while Matt is at work, but they also disappear.

The reason why is never given, prompting us to chalk this one up to “random scare tactic.”

17 Queenie Tried To Hook Up With A Minotaur

While we definitely applaud Murphy and Falchuck’s use of mythology throughout American Horror Story, it often makes no sense. Gabourey Sidibe was fantastic as Queenie, the young and lonely witch who gave as well as she got, used LaLaurie as her own personal racist slave, and really deserved main credits billing. But there was that one time she tried to hook up with a grotesque Minotaur…

While the inclusion of adult content is pretty standard in AHS, getting involved with a man who has bull’s head sewed over his own is pretty far out there. It didn’t make any sense, nor did Queenie’s own survival following the incident (or anything else including the Minotaur, really), so we just move along and say that there’s nothing to see here.

16 Zoe’s Hell Is Just Life Without Kyle

Zoe Benson, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga, starts out as a compelling character in the third season of American Horror Story, Coven. She has unique powers that pay homage to classic horror and a long journey ahead.

Tossing in a love interest is a great way to derail a personal growth story.

That’s what happened to Zoe with Kyle, her resurrected boyfriend played by Evan Peters. While we’re glad that Murphy and Falchuck used Kyle to illustrate that mothers can be abusive to their sons just as much as fathers can, “life without Kyle” as Zoe’s own personal hell is really stupid and overly angst-ridden.

15 Aliens In Asylum Makes No Sense

When it comes to American Horror Story, many fans reacted to the inclusion of aliens in season two, Asylum, in the same way that fans of Indiana Jones reacted to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For many horror fans, aliens don’t enter the territory without very specific rules, and you certainly don’t add aliens into an already-existing story for a scare factor.

The aliens of AHS also just weren’t scary. Sure, they made Pepper more interesting and gave convenient explanations for a few weird happenings, but at the end of the day mixing aliens in with mutants, a mean nun, demons, and war criminals just doesn’t work. It’s a hodgepodge of plot devices tossed together like a salad with too many kinds of dressing. Sometimes simpler is just better.

14 The Musical Sequences

We get that Sister Jude is losing her mind in this tenth episode of season two, Asylum, but must we lose ours as well? The episode itself was gripping, but watching Jessica Lange sashay through “The Name Game” wasn’t nearly as eerie as it should have been. It played off as more of an homage to the creators’ Glee in a way that didn’t work.

While some critics enjoyed the mind-boggling number, many of us like to pretend it never happened.

It’s not the last time the showrunners implemented a bit of music and dance, either. Season four, Freak Show, featured several ditties, including a rendition of “Come As You Are” by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and Lange singing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”.

13 What Happens To Dr. Arden’s Experiments?

The mutants created in Dr. Arden’s horrific experiments are the stuff of nightmares, and they definitely present an interesting side story among the rest of the godawful happenings at Briarwood Manor in season two of American Horror Story, Asylum. Their issue, of course, is that they disappear off the radar without much of a peep.

Once turned into a mutant and taken to a hospital, Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny as a homage to the many women unjustly committed to asylums throughout history, seems as if she may be able to lead the authorities toward Arden, but alas, Joseph Fiennes’ conflicted yet greedy Monsignor Timothy Howard takes her out instead. We don’t hear much about them afterward. What happened to the mutants?

12 The Messed-Up Historical Figures

Anne Frank was lobotomized by the evil Dr. Arden from Briarcliff Manor in season two, Asylum. Not only does this make zero sense, but it also really does a disservice to Anne Frank’s memory. There is a lot of artistic license taken with historical figures throughout American Horror Story, from Delphine Lalaurie to James March. Even characters used as backgrounds for new characters, like Nellie Bly’s inspiration for Lana Winters, often seems a bit much, especially when the representation is so loose.

The misrepresentation or grand re-representation of historical figures is nothing new.

Our own history books present complete falsehoods about everyone from Christopher Columbus to Paul Revere. Perhaps it’s just so glaring because we acknowledge that now, particularly during an age of “fake news” awareness.

11 The Opening Sequence And Spoilers Promise More Than We Get

One of the most exciting elements of a new season of American Horror Story is always the opening sequence and the slowly-revealed spoilers. Cast announcements and cool visuals trickle in until we finally get to see that first episode with its incredible casting graphics. The creepy opening sequence does much more than announce the cast: it revs us up like the announcer for a really scary joust about to take place.

The only problem is that it often goes downhill from there. While season 1 typically delivered, the casting graphics in seasons like Freak Show were actually scarier than the episodes themselves. That’s a real problem if we are supposed to be watching a horror program.

10 We Have No Idea What Happened To The Pig Boys

They were a successful execution of “the scary children” in a way that the little vampire entourage of the previous season just couldn’t seem to manage, so maybe that’s why Murphy and Falchuck decided to never let the “pig boys” of season six be seen again.

Aside from the fact that the boys could have made for some truly scary storytelling, the problem here isn’t just that they had no deeper involvement in the story than “check out these creepy kids” but that they don’t even have a resolution. Why the kids say, “Croatoan!” and why they drink pig milk remains unknown, and we may never know what happened to the charming little tykes.

9 No Consequences for the bad things the “good guys” do

As fans of American Horror Story, we sure do forgive a lot of murderers, don’t we? When someone bad finally goes good, all of their wicked deeds don’t seem to be as problematic. Even sweet Nan takes out Joan. Misty Day, otherwise a kind hippie, offs a couple of guys with alligators.

Were these warranted attacks? Maybe, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many characters end the lives of others and we pretty much turn a blind eye toward it like we wouldn’t if they occurred in real life. Of course, from people returning from the grave to mutant attacks near an asylum, there’s really not a lot in the show that applies to real life.

8 There’s Really No War Between The Coven And The Voodoo Witches

During season three, Coven, there’s a big build up about an oncoming war between the coven and the voodoo witches of the area. Both are led by powerful women, and who wasn’t excited to see Fiona, played by Jessica Lange, and Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett, go up against one another?

While there was plenty of tension and a zombie attack, it pretty much stopped there, especially after the witch hunters came to town.

AHS often builds up to something we’re expecting and completely abandon it for another plot instead. While we get that they want to keep us on our toes, broken promises do leave us unsatisfied and underwhelmed.

7 Zoe And Madison Gave Their Souls To Azaezel And It Never Came Up Again

When the bus full of frat boys who assaulted Madison wrecks, taking out all of the monsters on board on Madison’s whim, it’s satisfying. Even seeing Kyle taken out doesn’t bother some of us, given that we’ve already seen Evan Peters return from the grave before and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned. He may have stopped his “brothers” but he certainly tried to help them not get caught, making him complicit in the attack.

When Zoe and Madison decide to put “boy parts” together to resurrect Kyle as the perfect Frankenstein boyfriend, they sell their souls to Azaezel in order to do so, and yet it never comes up again. Given that both girls bite the dust during the show, shouldn’t that at least be an issue?

6 Roanoke’s Reality Show Inception

It was one of the most pointless plot points to ever be inserted into a season of American Horror Story. During season six, Roanoke, we’re treated to a reality show type of setting where re-enactors help us understand what happened to the Millers in “My Roanoke Nightmare”, an obvious play on so many other popular reality-based ghost hunting and experience shows. That’s an intriguing concept that works well for much of the season, but then we’re hit with reality-ception.

Getting all of the actors and people involved in actual events together for the blood moon event is one thing, but what about the disclaimer that nobody even survived the ordeal? If that’s true (which makes sense, since this is Roanoke), how did we get the footage in the first place?

5 There’s No Point To Scathach

Scathach, the mythical warrior from the Isle of Skye in Irish folklore, is an incredible character. It’s too bad we didn’t really get to know her in season six, Roanoke.

Lady Gaga’s Scathnach has a plethora of powers, is said to be the first Supreme and yet has no real point in the series.

The witch does a few nefarious things here and there, from purchasing souls to rendering people evil and insane, but in the grand scheme of things she has no real point except to serve as one of those random elements of horror woven in to just be spooky. Given the history of the traditional character, it would be amazing to see Murphy and Falchuck to use this as a tie-in for a more myth-heavy season.

4 People Are Constantly Offed Only To Be Brought Back

Character losses in the American Horror Story realm are pretty much like those in any comic book series: you don’t ever count them as permanent. Even when an entire series ends and you believe a character to be truly gone, they may return in another season! It’s definitely not a new tactic to have characters return from the grave; it’s a strategy used in everything from Dallas to Supernatural.

It makes us feel a little more jaded and a little less invested when tragedy does strike.

Oh, Fiona is sick? Oh, Ethel’s not going to make it? It’s too often meaningless. We want to feel affected, and we can’t help but worry a bit because we do love these characters, but deep down we’re always still wondering when they’ll return.

3 Twisty’s “Resolution” Is Basically A Deus Ex Machina

Season four’s big villain, Twisty the Clown, turned out to be much more Bozo than Pennywise. Sure, he was scary-looking, and he had the tragic backstory to boot, but Twisty’s crimes felt more garden variety scary movie than the monstrous panache we’d expect from AHS.

Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch, even had a disappointing resolution as a character. Not only was he never really sorted out by a main character or a victim bent on revenge, but he was literally yanked out of the show to join Edward Mordrake’s nightmarish troupe, collecting the clown’s soul after hearing his tale of woe.

2 Misty Day Was Unjustly Lost

One of the characters fans most resonated with in season three, Coven, was Misty Day, played by the talented Lily Rabe. Misty’s character screamed Supreme, from her unique abilities to her lack of really caring about the position.

Misty was all about fairness, being kind to animals, and protecting the vulnerable, making her a fantastic character to root for.

Unfortunately she was also a red herring. Falchuck and Murphy offed her in such a terrible way in a Hell made up of her own personal vivisection nightmare, which made zero sense given her ability to bring things back to life so easily. Misty didn’t deserve her ending, but neither did Nan and many other characters.

1 Tate Is A School Shooter

Tate Langdon is one of the most romanticized characters in the history of AHS. The season 1 character is a doting friend, devoted boyfriend who would do anything for Violet, and speaks volumes of teen angst to many a smitten heart. It doesn’t hurt that Evan Peters, who plays Tate, is easy on the eyes as well. Is that why it’s so hard to remember that Langdon is such a deplorable character?

Tate is a school shooter. He took the lives of several classmates and should represent what we most despise and do not condone in this nation right now. He also assaulted Violet’s mother, Vivian, causing her to become pregnant with his Antichrist baby. How can anyone still crush on this guy knowing what harm he’s done?

What other problems with American Horror Story do fans overlook? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 08:10:37 – Sara Schmidt

Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Live Ratings Hit All-Time Low

Despite kicking off Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) heavily hyped final season, The Walking Dead’s season 9 premiere ratings fell to an all-time low. While AMC’s long-running zombie apocalypse drama ended season 8 by once again claiming the overall ratings crown among the advertiser-coveted 18-49-year-old demographic, it did so by much closer of a margin than it’s managed in the past. That’s because over the last two seasons, The Walking Dead has seen its ratings average absolutely plummet.

Last year’s season 8 ended up averaging a 3.4 in the 18-49 demo, and about 7.8 million total viewers per episode. That amounted to an over 30 percent drop in the total viewer and demo averages posted by season 7. On that subject, season 7 averaged a 5.4 in the 18-49 demo and drew about 11.3 million viewers, itself a considerable drop from season 6’s 6.5 demo average and 13 million total viewer average per episode. While it’s fair to say that scripted TV as a whole has seen huge dips in live viewership in the last several years, the size of Walking Dead’s falls have been much bigger than most, if only because it had farther to fall.

Related: Maggie Was RIGHT In The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere

Going into season 9, positive advance reviews and an above average amount of hype surrounding the impending departures of stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan looked poised to possibly right the ratings ship for Walking Dead. Sadly, that doesn’t look like it’ll be the case. As reported by TV By The Numbers, season 9’s premiere – entitled “A New Beginning” – earned only a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo, and drew in a total audience of just over 6 million live viewers. That’s down a whopping 50 percent from the 5.0 demo rating posted by season 8’s premiere, and over 30 percent from its total audience.

To put things fully in perspective, that 2.5 is The Walking Dead’s lowest premiere rating ever, even below the 2.7 earned by the series’ October 2010 debut. Sunday’s total viewer count was slightly higher than Walking Dead’s series premiere at least, which was watched live by 5.4 million viewers. Whichever way you look at it though, these numbers aren’t a good omen for season 9’s ratings prospects.

However, there’s one other factor worth considering, first pointed out earlier today by Comic Book. Last year, AMC launched a premium streaming service called AMC Premiere, which lets subscribers watch episodes ad-free, and in some cases, early. It’s only available to those who subscribe to a TV package containing AMC, but still, season 9’s premiere was made available 24 hours in advance to AMC Premiere users. Figures on how many people used that service to view the episode early aren’t available, but it definitely could’ve cut into the live viewership count. With that in mind, the real test of season 9’s ratings may be next week, although it’s worth noting that numbers rarely go up after a show’s season premiere.

More: Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Negan’s Absence From Season 9 Premiere

The Walking Dead season 9 airs Sundays on AMC.

Source: TV By The Numbers, Comic Book



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2018-10-09 03:10:07 – Michael Kennedy

World War Z Sequel Begins Production in June, Confirms Producer

It seems World War Z 2 will finally begin production next June, according to one of the movie’s producers. Getting the first movie – which was directed by Marc Forster and based on a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof – onto the big screen was a long and arduous journey. While it wasn’t a direct adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed novel of the same name, it was still a different take on the zombie subgenre.

However, that doesn’t mean it revolutionized the horror genre. World War Z received generally positive reviews from critics and earned a whopping $540 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $190 million, which was more than enough for Paramount Pictures to commission a sequel. But development on the follow-up installment lagged for years until the studio’s new chief came on board in 2017 and started to push it forward. Now, it’s slated to start filming next summer.

Related: Why Jurassic World 2’s J.A. Bayona Dropped Out Of Directing World War Z 2

In an interview with Variety on the red carpet for Beautiful Boy, producer Dede Gardner confirmed that World War Z 2 will begin production in June 2019. She also reaffirmed that Brad Pitt would be reprising his role from the first movie as Gerry Lane, with David Fincher on board to direct. Furthermore, producer Jeremy Kleiner provides an update on the script, saying that screenwriter Dennis Kelly is still working on it, but they’re quite happy with what they have so far.

It’s interesting that Paramount Pictures, especially under new leadership, still sees potential in this story despite it being more than five years since the first movie released. Sure, it performed well at the box office, but the zombie genre is even more crowded now than it was then. After all, Paramount recently and briefly started to develop a reputation for offloading properties they thought wouldn’t perform well in theaters, primarily to streaming giant Netflix. That’s why movies like Annihilation and The Cloverfield Paradox suddenly found themselves streaming online. But in the midst of all the apparent turmoil was World War Z 2, which kept on trudging forward.

Fincher started filming the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter this past summer, so, given how adamant Gardner is about the June production start time frame, it seems the filmmaker has set aside time next summer to get the ball rolling on the long-awaited World War Z sequel. Whether they actually make that production start date remains to be seen, but at least fans can rest assured knowing the studio hasn’t forgotten about the movie.

Next: World War Z Horde Gameplay Trailer Recreates Movie’s Zombie Tsunami

Source: Variety





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2018-10-08 08:10:30 – Mansoor Mithaiwala