10 Great Recent Horror Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

Ghost Stories

Horror is an interesting cinematic genre. For one thing, it seems hundreds of horror movies are made every year, relatively cheaply and relying on jump scares and special effects. But much like comedy, Horror is constantly changing as the breadth of things that scare us widen and change just as the world changes.

This list will highlight some fantastic horror movies from the last twenty years that are, hopefully, indicative of what this genre is capable of doing.

 

1. Kill List (2011)

Kill List

Any of Ben Wheatley’s films are worth watching but Kill List really established him as an impressive talent. Jay and Gal are two ex-soldiers recently returned from war and are now finding it difficult to get work. A supposedly friendly tip leads them to a strange man who gives them a list of three names and hires them to kill everyone on it.

From this synopsis, the film sounds like a typical hit man thriller (Collateral has a very similar set-up) except that Kill List is always one step ahead of you with its story and its mystery so each scene feels like you’ve been lead into a different film.

Wheatley was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s love of symbolism and literally fills the screen with them, choosing to structure the plot in the editing booth at the end of the day rather than closely following the script. One particularly eerie example is when Jay and Gal visit their first name, but rather than facing a fight they find that their target is ready and waiting for them, and begins to thank them for killing him.

The horror comes from the painful reality of Jay’s life. Struggling for work, it’s clear that he’s losing control of his life, the only thing he can do well is kill and the film seems to be taking that away from him as well.

Each target acts more and more strangely and the two killers realise they have no control over the situation at all. Pair this with Wheatley’s use of symbols and repeated imagery and you have a movie that refuses to behave and with no explanation why. You’re left with your imagination to figure out why the increasingly horrible things you’re seeing on screen are happening.

 

2. Pulse (2001)

pulse_2001

This entry could win the title for bleakest on our list, but Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s J-Horror chiller is still worth your time. Pulse follows two separate stories of people who are visited and haunted by a ghost that manifests on the internet. Fears of new technologies might not be as rampant as they were at the start of the millennium but this is really just a jumping off point for Kurosawa to tackle deeper, scarier themes.

The ghost appears as either a face on a screen or as a series of upsetting videos and some times a burned silhouette on a wall. Lack of clear definition makes its purpose ambiguous and unsettling until the spirit finally explains; “Death was…eternal loneliness.”

Along with cinematographer Jun’ichi Kikuchi, Kurosawa makes the world of the film appear grey, cloudy and unwelcoming, with the characters often seen alone and rarely interacting with other people.

Tapping into your fear by performing as a traditional horror movie, Pulse also lands a second punch by tapping into a very deep sadness. It’s not just the threat of death, but of being forgotten. It a movie about existential dread wrapped up in a ghost story that manages to poke the most upsetting and vulnerable thoughts at the back of your brain.

 

3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A sleepy Iranian city continues about its mundane life unaware that a vampire is skateboarding her way through its streets. Horror can be used in many different ways and, in this case, director Ana Lily Amirpour uses a force for change; the presence of the vampire affecting the behaviour of the traditional town.

The title itself illustrates this, the girl walking home alone at night is the vampire and all the implied threat is inverted away from her and directed towards anyone that she might meet along her way, local gangsters or pimps. Invited to step into the vampire’s perspective we see that the horror in reality is much, much worse: women are controlled by violent men while society’s outcasts waste away on heroin. The vampire is here to shake up the town.

Shot in black and white and with a pop-filled soundtrack this film oozes cool. The first Middle-Eastern Vampire story Amirpour’s film is wholly original and really cleverly adapts classic horror tropes into a modern attack on traditionalism.

 

4. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

Revenge thrillers, like John Wick, usually glorify villain’s getting their punishment while the hero finds redemption. Dead Man’s Shoes grounds itself in realism, filmed with handheld cameras and using improvised dialogue to create genuine panic and confusion as a man in a gas mask picks off his victims one by one.

Richard has returned to his small Northern England town to get revenge on the men who attacked and tortured his little brother. There is no question that Richard will succeed and the film spends most of its time with his victims as they tear themselves apart waiting for him to come.

In flashbacks we see these men as they laugh and joke with Richard’s brother, pretending to be his friend, as they lead him away from town. Juxtaposed with them in the present trying to convince themselves that it was just a joke that got out of hand, that they’re not really evil men.

The film expertly builds a sense of dread out of the men finally seeing the larger picture of what they’ve done and as their guilt starts to catch up with them. It leaves us in a confusing moral mess as Richard’s actions turn him into a monster and as his victims are humanised. The film is small in scale but leaves the audience in a massive hole of very real human cruelty.

 

5. Under The Shadow (2016)

under-the-shadow

Set in 1980s Tehran, Under the Shadow opens with Shideh trying to get back into university after being kicked out for protesting the state. Politics and war are big themes in the back of the film, guiding and shaping the characters who are subject to them.

When she returns home, Shideh’s husband announces he is going to the front to provide medical aid, she will have to stay at home with their daughter. Shideh is told by nearly everyone she meets that she must act like a good woman, to follow traditional values and stay at home with her child. But Shideh doesn’t believe that she is a good mother.

These big pressures of war and traditionalism are the shadow Shideh finds herself under. The metaphor becoming literal when on the first night her husband is away, a bomb falls through the roof of her apartment building but does not explode. While Shideh deals with the world around her and struggles to keep her daughter happy and safe a vengeful spirit, a djinn, begins to slip into their apartment.

This is a perfect example of main-stream, jump scare horror done right. There is already so much in this story and to these characters before the haunting even begins that we already feel on the edge of our seats; the repeated threat of bombings means that any noise could mean sudden death.

Director Babak Anvari blends drama and tension usually found in war drama with modern horror techniques and the result is a fantastic mix of high emotion and fear that makes for a very strong ghost story.

GearEye – Two Years After Crowdfunding Still Not Delivered

GearEye was supposed to be a gear tracking system based on RFID tags and a tracker in form of a small dongle or smartphone case. Its creators were running a successful crowdfunding campaigns in the end of 2016, but failed to deliver GearEye units till today.

GearEye RFID tracking system still not delivered. Scam?

Already back in November 2016 we informed you about an interesting crowdfunding project called GearEye (link to the article here). GearEye was supposed to be a gear tracking system based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. It was supposed to help filmmakers and photographers manage their gear easily. I am saying “was supposed to”, because till today GearEye creators did not deliver their product.

The GearEye crowdfunding campaigns were quite successful – they had two of them running from November 1st 2016 till December 30th 2016. Its creators raised $558,069 US on Kickstarter (their goal was only $60,000 US) and $657,523 on Indiegogo. Together it is slightly over $1.2M US for development and delivery of the GearEye tracking systems.

The backers were sending between $120 and $600 US for GearEye kits depending on the number of RFID stickers and trackers (dongles or phone cases). The initial estimated delivery time was July 2017.

The GearEye creators seem to communicate with the backers – they posted a total of 24 updates since spring 2017. Some of them were talking about passing the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) tests for wireless devices, some of them about changing various components, adjusting the PCB, adjusting the design and so on. This is the latest update from May 19th 2019.

Latest photos of the GearEye dongle from May 19th 2019

Since I didn’t back the project, I could not see most of the updates. It seems to me though as if they have only made very little progress with the device in those two years. That raises my concern if the updates can be trusted and if there really is development going on. What’s frustrating for the project’s backers is that GearEye doesn’t seem to be willing to refund any money to anyone.

We say this at the end of every crowdfunding-related article: Please be aware of the risks when backing development of a project on crowdfunding platform. Please read Kickstarter’s terms of use – especially Section 5 “How funding works”. Unfortunately not all project creators are honest and even with those who are, some projects can bring unexpected complications in the final stages of development. Those can either significantly postpone the delivery date or kill the project completely.

Did you back GearEye project? Do you think these units will eventually be delivered? Are you aware of all the risks connected with backing a crowdfunding project? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post GearEye – Two Years After Crowdfunding Still Not Delivered appeared first on cinema5D.

Adobe Premiere Rush Now Available for Android

Premiere Rush is a simplified video editing app from Adobe. Starting now, it is available on Android devices too. It includes vital functions of Premiere Pro, Audition, and After Effects. Don’t expect lots of customization possibilities though. Premiere Rush is all about quick workflow.

Adobe Premiere Rush is available for Android

Adobe’s simplified video editing app called Premiere Rush came to desktop computers and iOS devices already last year. Now, Adobe is finally releasing Premiere Rush for Android devices as well. Now you can work on projects on all platforms – iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android.

Adobe Premiere Rush

The Rush is a simplified, all-in-one video editing app which includes vital functions from the Premiere Pro, Audition, and even some motion graphics presets from After effects. Goal of this app is to speed up the process of video post production. Most people use Rush for quick social media videos, because everything can be quickly done directly in the phone. According to Adobe, the app includes quick exporting options optimized for social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. That means users can input video title and add metadata like descriptions in Premiere Rush, instead of doing it in each individual app.

Another advantage of the Premiere Rush is that it synchronizes projects in the cloud, so you can continue working on the project on a PC and even open it in the Premiere Pro. Along with the app launch, Adobe also added new motion graphics presets in the app.

Adobe Premiere Rush is available in english, french, spanish, german, korean, and japanese. Unfortunately, it is only supported on a few Android 9.0 (Pie or P) smartphones at the moment. Following devices running Android 9.0 are supported: Samsung Galaxy S10/10+, S9/9+, Note9, Note8, S10e; Google Pixel 3/3XL, 2/2XL; OnePlus 6T. Hopefully Adobe is working on compatibility with other devices too. The Adobe Premiere Rush can be downloaded here in Google Play store or in the Samsung Galaxy app store.

Simple interface of Premiere Rush

The licence for Rush is already included in the Creative Cloud all-apps plan from Adobe. For those who don’t have Creative cloud, the Rush as a standalone app costs $9.99 US per month for a single user. The Premiere Rush subscription includes 100GB of cloud storage, which can even be expanded to 10TB.

There is also a free starter plan for Rush, which allows users to start unlimited number of projects, but it is limited to three exports. It also includes 2GB of cloud storage.

What do you think of Adobe Premiere Rush? Did you already work with the app? Is it stable? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

Source: The Verge

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These Milky Way and Meteor Photos Were Taken With a Phone

These Milky Way and Meteor Photos Were Taken With a Phone

Despite looking like the work of a high-end DSLR with top spec glass, this set of landscape images were all taken with Huawei’s latest offering, the P30 Pro. Clearly visible is the Milky Way and star trails.

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Three Easy Hacks to Improve Your Creativity

Everyone can use a jump-start on their creativity sometimes.

That’s why these tips from Marc Silber might help you.

Silber is a photographer and author, but his ideas about creativity can apply to those of us in the film industry, too! If you’re a director, cinematographer, or even a screenwriter, you’re working in a visual medium and can absolutely put his advice to good use.

Watch his first video about creative hacks below.

1. Use your power of visualization

Again, Silber is discussing this as it applies to taking a photograph, but if you’re directing or DPing a film (or even lighting or designing sets), you’re going to be doing exactly the same thing—conceptualizing images, bringing them to life, then shooting them.

The visualization of a film is usually going to be the screenplay or a treatment, which will then lead to storyboarding and previs.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our pieces about aesthetics and visual language, and our series on the cinematographer’s process. You might also check out Shot By Shot, a book by Stephen Katz.

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Canon UK’s Instagram Account Caught Messaging Photographers Asking for Free Image Use

Canon UK's Instagram Account Caught Messaging Photographers Asking for Free Image Use

In newly released screenshots, Canon UK’s official Instagram has been caught messaging photographers in an attempt to use their images free of charge. The verified account admitted that Canon “regularly gathers images to potentially use on [their] social accounts.”

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Lomography announces Petzval 55mm F1.7 lens for full-frame mirrorless systems

Lomography has announced it’s opened pre-orders for the Petzval 55mm F1.7 MKII, its first lens designed specifically for full-frame mirrorless cameras.

According to Lomography, the lens ‘is created with discerning photographers and filmmakers in mind’ and ‘designed to allow full creative flexibility, with its 7 levels of Bokeh Control and Dual Aperture system.’ Like other Lomography lenses, the Petzval 55mm F1.7 MKII comes with various plates to shape the bokeh in images.

Below is a gallery sample photos captured with the Petzval 55mm F1.7 MKII and shared by Lomography:

The lens is available Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts and comes in three varieties: black brass, satin-finish brass and black anodized aluminum for $499, $449 and $399, respectively. Pre-orders are open now; the first aluminum units are expected to ship in July 2019 and brass units will follow shortly after in August 2019.

Pye Jirsa Explains Why These Are the Two Lenses You Should Own First

Pye Jirsa Explains Why These Are the Two Lenses You Should Own First

When we think of “need to own” lenses, sometimes we ignore the utility for the aesthetics. Other times, when looking at new equipment it really comes down to the usability of a lens and whether it should be the taking up space in your bag. If you’re trying to make those decisions now, Pye Jirsa may be able to help.

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Make a DIY Smartphone Gimbal out of Tins Cans and Mop Heads

Can’t afford a handheld gimbal for your smartphone? No problem! Just build your own.

Shooting handheld video on your smartphone was a total shaky nightmare before dedicated stabilizers, like gimbals, came onto the scene.

And even though you can get a really good unit for less than $200—the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is $140, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is $120, and the EVO SHIFT is $100—you might be more interested in utilizing items that you already have to make a handheld stabilizer that smooths out your footage while not costing you a dime.

If that’s the case, then check out this DIY tutorial from COOPH that shows you how to make your own stabilization rig out of tin cans, a rubber band, and a swivel mop head.

That’s some serious DIY. I mean, if you showed up on set with this thing, you are absolutely going to get a lot of sideways glances. However, if it works, it works. It doesn’t matter how unsightly a rig is, as long as it does its job, right?

Okay, here’s what you’ll need to build this thing:

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Sundance Institute Announces Documentary Fund and Stories of Change Grantees

The Sundance Institute today announced the 25 nonfiction films that will receive Documentary Fund and Stories of Change grants. The grants span all the way from initial project development to audience building, and the list includes custom grants from The Kendeda Fund, which supports projects dealing with environmental themes as well as gun violence. Stories of Change grants, a creative partnership with The Skoll Foundation, support social entrepreneurs and independent storytellers. Reports the Sundance Institute, “the supported projects come from Canada, Chile, China, Estonia, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and the United States. 21 projects, or 84%, […]

DIY Filmmaking: How to Get the Game of Thrones Look on a Budget

DIY Filmmaking: How to Get the Game of Thrones Look on a Budget

Do you ever have a crazy, elaborate idea, but don’t have the budget to pull it off? In this DIY breakdown look, see how you can create the famous Game of Thrones look on a miniscule budget with just the things lying around your house.

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How I Shot, Edited, and Lit This 1950s Inspired Vintage Photoshoot

How I Shot, Edited, and Lit This 1950s Inspired Vintage Photoshoot

In this extensive breakdown, go behind the scenes of a 1950s themed shoot and see how I shot, lit, and edited it from start to finish.

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Editshare Gets a New CEO as It Moves Toward Cloud-Based Media Sharing

Share media storage company EditShare has taken on a round of investment and brought in a new CEO, so the original founder can focus more on tech development.

EditShare has long been a leader in shared media storage. If you want multiple editors working from the same pile of source media, you need to work off of shared storage, and for 15 years now EditShare has stood out as being the most platform agnostic provider in the space. While you can work with an Avid Nexis shared server and whatever NLE you like (they aren’t just meant for working with Avid Media Composer), EditShare was really the first to fully support Final Cut Pro and now, with the world split between FCP-X, MC, Premiere, and Resolve, agnostic platforms remain appealing.

EditShares cloud solutions are focused on being something you can deploy wherever you want. Want your media stored locally and then shared to the cloud? You can do that. Want to use a cloud server provider and then share from there? You can do that, and most importantly, it’s not tied to any individual cloud.

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Georgia’s Abortion Laws Affects the Filming Industry

Georgia’s recently passed abortion laws has continued to escalate tension in Hollywood, with its own economic interests in the state at stake. Yesterday’s story in the New York Times shows that the issue is now moving to the public pressure to influence the industry. Notable actors and directors, including Jason Bateman of Ozark and Alyssa Milano […]

The post Georgia’s Abortion Laws Affects the Filming Industry appeared first on Below the Line.

WGA Resumes Talks Between Writers and Agents

On Wednesday night, The Writers Guild of America (WGA) agreed to a request made by UTA co-president Jay Sures to reopen talks between the guild and the Association of Talent Agents since negotiations failed between the two more than a month ago when trying to reach a new franchise agreement. The fight between agencies and […]

The post WGA Resumes Talks Between Writers and Agents appeared first on Below the Line.

How ‘Unforgiven’ Ended The Western Genre (For A Hot Minute)

Westerns were all the range from the 50s through the 90s. Then “Unforgiven” came and gunned most of them down for a decade or more. What happened?

If you clicked on this article to read, then you must love Westerns, or at least like them. Unless you’re some two-bit varmint up to no good. But that’s on you. With the Deadwood movie coming back, Westworld dominating HBO, and classic genre entries like Bone Tomahawk finding audiences online, it’s hard to imagine a time when the Western wasn’t incredibly popular.

But did one movie kill it? Or was it a combination of things?

Today we’re going to talk about Unforgiven, give a brief history of the film, and look at how its release relatively killed off Westerns for a decade or more.

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Cannes 2019 Dispatch 5: Fire Will Come, Tommaso

We all know that Cannes appraises itself as the supreme purveyor of a given year’s most handsome industrially-produced arthouse motion pictures (that is, those that happen to have completed their post-production by late April of said year)—a launchpad for quote-unquote major achievements by the world’s most recognizable and uncompromising narrative filmmakers. Its unwillingness to accommodate the more outre or difficult projects from directors who fit that description hasn’t been too contentious thanks, mostly, to the Directors’ Fortnight’s relatively eclectic and much less constricted programming philosophy—carried over from one artistic director to the next for more than half a century now, […]

Never Get Photographer’s Block Again With These Seven Strategies

Never Get Photographer's Block Again With These Seven Strategies

If you constantly struggle to come up with new ideas for your photography work, then your career could be in serious trouble. Try one of these seven strategies to help you get that next big idea and keep those creative juices flowing.

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