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Kristen Ruhlin On Her Creative Evolution & Breathing Life Into ‘Welcome To Mercy’

Kristen Ruhlin On Her Creative Evolution & Breathing Life Into ‘Welcome To Mercy’

Actor/Screenwriter Kristen Ruhlin has a very bright future ahead of her.

Sometimes in life, when things aren’t quite living up to your expectations, you have to take matters into your own hands. That’s exactly what actor/screenwriter Kristen Ruhlin did when she dove head first into the creation of her first feature film. On a cross-country flight, the seed of an idea grew into her terrifying occult thriller, “Welcome To Mercy.” Involved in every aspect of the process from start to finish, it was the ultimate learning experience for this up-and-coming storyteller. Most importantly, her experiences serve as proof-positive that good things come to those who wait!

“Welcome To Mercy” tells the tale of a young woman struggling against the unholy forces that possess her. After being stricken with stigmata, single mother Madaline (Kristen Ruhlin) is sent to a remote convent where nothing is what it seems and her friend August (Lily Newmark) is seemingly the only person she can trust. Together, they must confront the demons inside Madaline before she becomes the Antichrist.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Kristen Ruhlin to get an inside look at the making of the film and what compelled her pour her blood, sweat, and tears into the project. In the interview, she offers an inside look at the creative process, the obstacles she overcame along the way, and the lessons learned in bringing the project from script to screen.

How did you get involved with the arts early on in life and what made you pursue your passion professionally?

I grew up in West Virginia, where my Mom managed a theater company. I was always involved in theater because she was always toting me a long with her to work! It became like a second family to me. In college, I got into acting a lot more seriously and started doing independent films in New York. Eventually, over the course of my career, I was looking for something with a little more gravitas and integrity. I was looking for a role that I could be proud of. So, at one point, I decided to create that role for myself and that’s how the creation of “Welcome To Mercy” came about.

The road to becoming a successful working actor in Hollywood is not an easy one. Was there someone behind the scenes giving you a push during the times you needed it most?

You know, I’ve been married twice. Cat’s out of the bag! [laughs] My first husband actually passed away. He was my best friend since I was 14 years old. Despite everything, we were best friends our whole lives. He was the kind of person who always believed in me and would say, “You’re going to do this one day. You’re going to do it! I believe in you!” He was that person to me.

He was right! You have definitely blazed your own path and it’s definitely something to be proud of! Let’s talk about “Welcome To Mercy.” Where you always a fan of darker material?

I have always enjoyed the genre. One of my favorite films as a kid was “Poltergeist.” I was super young when I first saw it and I thought it was so scary and awesome! Those kind of films were the ones I was drawn to. I have steered away from horror over the past few years as I have two youngins but I still love seeing a good, scary movie from time to time. I love seeing the ones that come and do something different – films like “It Follows” or Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist.” I just love playing with imagery and creeping people out in different ways visually.

How did the idea for “Welcome To Mercy” originally come about?

I basically knocked out the story on a plane ride when I was in my twenties. I had the basic concept down then. I knew that I wanted to play a certain type of female character arc and a certain protagonist — someone who was kind of internally tortured. I was also really interested in stigmata. I’ve always been interested in religion. To me, there is nothing more terrifying than exorcisms because there is such a realness to it. I think there is also something both beautiful and creepy about churches, specifically Catholicism, although there is something creepy and beautiful about every religion. I flew into those and really started exploring those worlds.

This project was a long time in the making. What were the biggest challenges you faced along the way?

It has been a long journey from the time I wrote it to actually doing it. Along the way, the biggest struggles I’ve had was just living a normal life, becoming a mother, becoming a wife, becoming an ex-wife and a single mother. Those were the biggest challenges and propelled me to get the next steps made. I think every filmmaker can probably relate to that. Life can definitely throw you curveballs and get in the way, but I was always confident and relaxed in the back of my mind that this would come to fruition and everything would happen the way it was intended to. When I was in Latvia, there was definitely was a sense of “These roadblocks had to happen. I had to take a pause at year two and year three to get me to this position I’m in now. All of the people involved in Latvia and all of these elements were meant to be here right now.” I’m really happy with the way it turned out!

As the screenwriter, you are the author of this tale. You have also served as the driving force that ultimately brought it to the screen. As you got closer to this film becoming a reality, did you find it difficult to let go of the reigns and allow others into the process?

It was definitely hard, for sure! The director, Tommy Bertelsen, came on board toward the last leg of it. We started the last leg of it in September of 2018 with Tommy and we were in Latvia by December. That was a new person in the mix in a key role in a very short period of time. There was a lot of trust that had to be built in a very short time. I’m definitely someone who definitely has some walls up when it comes to trusting people and letting the reigns go. Tommy and I had some good heart-to-hearts. I had a conversation with him in Latvia, along with one of our executive producers, Serik Kushenov. It was at that point that I just had to let go of my little baby and trust other people. Once I leaned into that trust, it allowed other people to really excel at the things they are passionate about from production design to directing to cinematography. That’s what everyone is there to do, and you can’t do it all by yourself. It’s a team process and we definitely had those challenges, but I finally let go in Latvia! It was a huge learning experience.

‘Welcome To Mercy’ is now available on all digital platforms via IFC Midnight.

I imagine you did quite a bit of research to bring the level of authenticity the film has to the surface.

Yeah, I definitely did a ton of research. We had 3 weeks of prep there and there was a ton of research going on to get into Latvian culture. Everything was methodical right down to the weight of the material used in the nun’s garments. Every little nook and cranny were highly researched!

What where the biggest challenges you faced on set?

The most challenging thing on this set was 100% the weather and the physical demands of it. It was a struggle period, but while being a single mom with two toddlers under 3 years old was something I totally didn’t anticipate! The physicality and exhaustion were something I totally mismanaged! I was in a strange country where we didn’t speak the language, and no one spoke English, which is always challenging. I had a nanny full-time while I was filming but I totally forgot that I didn’t have one when I was off, so I would shoot for 17 hours, come home at 7 AM, be a Mom for 12 hours and then go straight back to the set! I confided in Tommy about it and I was losing my mind! [laughs] He is very method, so he was like, “Yes! You’re going to use that! Yeah you are! Madaline is also exhausted, and she hasn’t slept for days!” [laughs] We totally went there with that and I think, in hindsight, it definitely played out for the best of the film! Like I said, everything happens for a reason! It was very challenging trying to do it all!

As the author of this tale, you have lived with the character you play for a long time now. How has the role evolved over time?

When I first conceptualized Madaline she was a younger version of myself and that is evident in the first draft. Her motives for doing a lot of things and the story that was there was her seeking attention for herself in a curious and narcissistic way, kind of the way all of us do in our early twenties. As I evolved through having a family, becoming a mother and moving into my thirties, Madaline’s character changed, and motivations became different. She had different reasons for doing things and learning about her past to make herself better not just for herself but someone else. That’s gives you a different reason for getting up in the morning. We all change at different stages in our lives, so she different went on a huge roller coaster of character development.

How do you feel you have evolved over the past decade?

Well, in my twenties, I definitely think I was so eager and desperate to please everybody. I wanted to have everyone like me. I wanted to be famous and do work that people saw and would recognize. I feel like I was willing to do any kind of project to make that happen and I didn’t really know how to get there. I knew the kind of roles I wanted to be acknowledged for and the kind of work I wanted to be involved with, but I wanted it so bad that I was less selective. As you grow, and you learn, you discover that you have to believe in yourself a little bit more. You have faith in yourself and in your work. That pivot point happened for me after I had kids. It comes down to the kind of work that I would want them to see me involved with, the stuff that I put out and the things that I go after to create the kind of resume that I want. Things have changed as I’ve entered my thirties. I’m not interested in being famous or having 12 movies under my belt in a year. I’m happy with having one really solid piece that I’m really proud of and getting good remarks on. I want to tell honest, real stories while producing and being part of the things that I want to put out there and want to see. It’s almost like my audience has changed a little.

Kristen Ruhlin as Madaline in ‘Welcome To Mercy.’

You touched on it a little with that answer, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper. What are you looking for in the material you take on at this point in your career? Is there a specific direction you see yourself headed?

I have definitely shifted focus to writing just because it fits so well with my family dynamic right now. Producing is another thing I am focusing on and something I learned a lot about during the process of “Welcome To Mercy.” I love being part of the development! I love being a part of the development meeting and crewing up all the key departments and the way everything comes to fruition. I also love tweaking the script and talking story! I could talk all day about the mythology of stories and coming up with creative ideas. That’s the best part to me. At the same time, I also love acting and I definitely still want to do and pursue that but because I have shifted to such a selective area of it, those roles are very specific. Like I said, I don’t have to have 50 of them a year. The next one I want to do is this Roman one that I’ve been obsessed with since I was twelve. I’m going to put everything into that focus when the time is right and have faith that all the pieces will fall in line as needed.

The journey you are on is an inspiring one. What is the best lesson we can take away from your experience so far?

I have this little video that I took of myself on the last day of filming in Latvia. It was that “If you believe in something, you want something, and you have a dream about it, you should go after it…” kind of moment. Mine started with just a little idea that I wrote down on a napkin while I was on a plane and it manifested. I dreamt about it, wanted it, thought about it and obsessed about it for so long that it finally came true. I worked really hard for it. I think that whether it is 5 days, 5 years or 10 years, if it’s something you want bad enough, it will happen. You just have to give yourself the trajectory and the time to believe that it will!

I don’t know how often you might hear it but congratulations on everything you have achieved. It’s really amazing to see your vision become a reality. The film will be released on November 2nd, 2018. It’s been a long road! What are you doing to celebrate?

Oh my gosh! You know, honestly, the biggest celebration to me is that I get to keep doing what I love doing. I have to pinch myself every day! Right now, I’m in production right now on another film, we are continuing to make movies and I get to wake up every day and write stories and create worlds! That’s all I ever wanted to do since I was a little girl — create worlds and be part of them. That’s how I celebrate by just being able to keep doing it!

I can’t wait to see where this all takes you, Kristen! Keep up the hard work and I know our paths will cross again in the future!

Thanks so much, Jason! I really appreciate it! Talk to you soon!

‘Welcome To Mercy’ will hit theaters and VOD on November 2nd, 2018 via IFC Midnight! Follow the continuing adventures Kristen Ruhlin on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Scream Factory To Release ‘Ghost Stories’ Anthology Film On September 4th!

Scream Factory To Release ‘Ghost Stories’ Anthology Film On September 4th!

Experience three spine-tingling tales of terror to haunt your dreams! On September 4th, 2018, the delightfully devilish horror anthology film will make its Blu-ray and DVD debut from Scream Factory, in conjunction with IFC Midnight. Fans of this critically acclaimed film can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

A debunker of all things paranormal, Professor Goodman (Andy Nyman, Black Death) has devoted his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural shenanigans. His skepticism is tested, however, when he receives a case file on three chilling and inexplicable incidents: a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse, Corpse Bride) haunted by disturbing visions as he patrols an abandoned asylum; an edgy young man (Alex Lawther, Freak Show) involved in a hellish car accident deep in the woods; and a wealthy former banker (Martin Freeman, Sherlock, Black Panther) visited by the spirit of his unborn child. Even more disturbing is that each of these macabre stories seems to have a sinister connection to Professor Goodman’s own life. Will they make a believer of him yet?

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane: Icon Vs. Icon’s Top Films of 2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Icon Vs. Icon’s Top Films of 2017

Hey, check it out, another “Top Films Of 2017” list! As I’m sure you’re sick of reading these, I decided to change things up a bit. First, “Get Out” is not on this list! I love “Get Out”, everyone does. I’ve been talking about this film since February and I’m sick of talking about it! It’s fantastic, great social commentary, and I can’t wait to see what Jordan Peele does next. Second, I did not get to see every film I wanted to this year. I’m a College Student completing my Teaching Certification, I wish I had more time to catch every film I wanted to. A few movies I wish I had seen before compiling this list are “My Friend Dahmer, “The Shape of Water”, “The Lure”, “The Greatest Showman”, “Raw”, and “Tragedy Girls”. So, with all of that out of the way, please enjoy my “Top 5 Films Of 2017”.

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

A sequel to the greatest action film of the past decade? I’m in! John Wick 2 takes all of the excitement of the first film and turns it up to 11. This time around the hunter has become the hunted. Wick, unwillingly returns to the seedy assassin underworld only to discover he’s being hunted by the top agents within the local area. I love the fact that we’re exploring the lore of this series. It would’ve been so easy to just do a complete retread of the first film, and just put Wick on another revenge mission. Instead, we dive deeper into the world and discover how it truly works. John Wick: Chapter 2 is definitely my favorite action film of the year!

‘Kong: Skull Island’

This is a film I’m seeing constantly looked over in “Best Of” lists. I just don’t get it, we’ve received two great films in this new “Kaiju Franchise” and both of them have been overlooked. What is really great about this film is that it’s a war film disguised as a “King Kong” movie. You’ve got all the beats of the old Vietnam films right down to the Crazy General in Samuel Jackson. Don’t forget the incredible colors and visuals. As I stated in my full review, this movie was as colorful as “Suicide Squad” should have been. If you want a great “Kong” film without the usual, “woman and ape fall in love” storyline, this is for you.

‘IT’

This and “Get Out” were the two most talked about horror films of the year; rightfully so. While this King adaptation takes many liberties with it’s source material, it still created a world that I wanted to know more about. The town of Derry, and it’s history are fascinating. The kids reminded me of the friends I had when growing up. Skarsgård’s performance of “Pennywise” was both enticing and chilling. I know a lot of people harped on the constant use of CGI, however, it wasn’t enough to distract me from a great film. Definitely looking forward to the follow up.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Listen, I’m gonna be straight up, unless a Star Wars movie is really bad then there’s a good chance that I’m going to love it. It’s a series that I hold near and dear to my heart. As for this entry, it’s torn the fan base completely apart. I, for one, enjoy the new direction the series is going. Without getting into spoilers, this entry changed things in a way that will make the future of the series that much more interesting. I enjoy seeing the old characters again, and I love the new characters being introduced and elaborated upon. As we’ve discussed here at Icon Vs Icon, try to remember that this is a kid’s movie. All of the Star Wars films were made for kids. Everything in every Star Wars film was put there to sell toys. It just so happens that there is a great story underneath. Try not to take things too seriously, these films were always campy.

‘The Devil’s Candy’

Anyone who follows Icon Vs Icon knows my absolute love with this movie. It’s dark, hard-hitting, and it’s use of music is fantastic. Heavy metal is a driving force for this film, and it’s use should be held right up there with the use of music in “Baby Driver”. Now, if anyone has made a huge comeback it’s Ethan Emery. From “Cheap Thrills” to this, things are looking incredibly bright for this fantastic actor. The movie itself has the ability to make me cringe without the use of over the top gore and there’s plenty of “Woah, they went there” moments. It’s not a film for everyone, but if you’re a horror fan, this is the film I recommend to you.

2017’s Honorable Mentions:

• ‘Baby Driver’
• ’68 Kill’
• ‘Get Out’
• ‘A Dark Song’
• ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’
• ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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First Poster and Trailer For IFC Midnight’s ‘Devil’s Gate’ Unveiled!

First Poster and Trailer For IFC Midnight’s ‘Devil’s Gate’ Unveiled!

IFC Midnight has just unveiled the trailer and poster for director Clay Staub’s DEVIL’S GATE, starring Milo Ventimiglia (THIS IS US; HEROES), Shawn Ashmore (X2: X-MEN UNITED), Amanda Schull (12 MONKEYS; SUITS) and Jonathan Frakes (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) coming to select theaters, VOD and via digital platforms in the U.S. on JANUARY 5, 2018.

Synopsis: What unholy force lies locked away in a crumbling, booby-trapped, middle-of-nowhere farmhouse? When a woman and her son mysteriously vanish, FBI agent Daria Francis (Amanda Schull) is dispatched to the small town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota to investigate the number one suspect: religious fanatic Jackson Pritchard (Milo Ventimiglia), husband and father of the missing persons. But when Francis and local deputy Colt (Shawn Ashmore) arrive at Pritchard’s foreboding property, they discover much more than they bargained for lurking in the basement. Unfolding over the course of 24 delirious hours, this head-spinning sci-fi creature feature hits viewers with a bonkers blitzkrieg of genre-bending twists and turns.

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Forgiveness Is A Virtue: A Review of Liam Gavin’s “A Dark Song”

Forgiveness Is A Virtue: A Review of Liam Gavin’s “A Dark Song”

Occult horror has made an excellent comeback in recent years. From the 70’s homage “The House of the Devil” to the gruesome tale of self-destruction that is “Starry Eyes”, occult horror is taking over independent filmmaking in a big bad way. Independent distributors such as IFC Midnight and Scream Factory have been assisting in this resurgence in occult films and I couldn’t be more excited. So when “A Dark Song”, the directorial debut of Liam Gavin, landed in my lap I found myself extremely intrigued. Would we have another hit on our hands or can we just chuck this to the back of the shelf to never be seen again? Let’s see!

When her seven year old son, Jack, is murdered by a group of teen cultists, Sophia (Catherine Walker) hires occultist Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) to summon the grieving mother’s Guardian Angel. The two go through a series of dark and sadistic rituals that pushes each of them to their physical and psychological limits. Sophia and Joseph make a disturbing descent into the most depraved corners of dark magic. A descent that needs to be seen to be believed.

What I was expecting when I put this film on was a sadistic story dealing in black magic that saw every character reach a grisly demise. That wasn’t what I got. What I got was a powerful tale about how far a woman will go for her son; a tale about the beauty of life and what is truly important. I don’t want to go much further plot wise because this film is an experience, go watch it now!

Let’s talk cast! There are only two main characters in the entire film, Sophia and Joseph and in order for a movie like this to work you need these two actors to be perfect. Catherine Walker and Steve Oram do not disappoint. You truly feel the heartache experienced by Walker. You want her to reach her goals, which I can’t expose here. Oram, however, is horrifying and dirty in the greatest way possible. He plays Joseph in such a way where you’re second guessing his motives with every twist and turn. In a film that could’ve fallen flat, these two truly pulled it together.

Since it’s distributed by IFC Midnight and Scream Factory, you know it’s gonna be packed with extra content. Included are lengthy interviews with the director, actors, and DP. There’s also multiple deleted scenes. Honestly, this is one of those films where I would’ve loved a commentary track; a bit disappointed in that regard. It’s a great disc regardless.

As I’ve stated in multiple reviews already, IFC Midnight has been hitting it out of the park! From “The Devil’s Candy” to “68 Kill”, I just can’t get enough. Well add this to the list now! Just know, you’ve never seen a film like this before. It’s not what you’re going to be expecting. Go in with an open mind and leave with a changed heart.

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First Trailer and Poster Revealed For IFC Midnight’s ‘Welcome To Willits’

First Trailer and Poster Revealed For IFC Midnight’s ‘Welcome To Willits’

IFC Midnight has unveiled the official trailer and poster for the release of WELCOME TO WILLITS. Directed by Trevor Ryan, the film is coming to select theaters, VOD, and via digital platforms in the U.S. on SEPTEMBER 22, 2017!

Synopsis: Aliens, burnouts, and clueless campers collide in this bloody and bonkers slasher freak-out. Deep in the woods of Northern California lies the off-the-grid town of Willits, a haven for marijuana growers, meth addicts, and conspiracy theorists. When a gaggle of vacationing friends unknowingly set up their campsite on the property of Willits’ most disturbed resident—a psychotic, drug-addled pot farmer convinced extraterrestrials are out to get him—they’re in for one hell of a bad time. The feature debut from director Trevor Ryan is a no-holds-barred pileup of carnage, twisted comedy, and pure crazy starring Bill Sage, Garrett Clayton, Chris Zylka, Thomas Dekker, and Dolph Lundgren.

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I Would Do Anything For Love: A Review of Trent Haaga’s “68 Kill”

I Would Do Anything For Love: A Review of Trent Haaga’s “68 Kill”

We’ve all been there before; “happily” in a relationship with someone that we couldn’t imagine being with in our wildest dreams. The other person seems to be completely out of your league and you’re willing to do anything in the world to please them. You justifiably believe that you’re “in love”, and you get put down every second of every day. You’re this person’s puppy dog. You’ll do anything this person asks and once in a while she, or he, will throw you a bone. Well what happens when that person takes things a little too far and asks you to do the unthinkable? Well, when this concept is in the hands of Trent Haaga, hilarity and excellence ensues.

Trent Haaga is one of my all-time favorite “creative people” in terms of the film world. I say creative people because he’s done it all. He’s written some of the craziest, yet fantastic, films in the genre world, such as Cheap Thrills and Deadgirl. He took a horror icon to another level when he took over the title role in Killjoy 2. And, I’ll never quite forget the first time I saw him in Terror Firmer as the lovable, Jerry. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan. From his horror work to his game work, and even his Lifetime films, I always tend to enjoy Haaga’s creative mind and what he brings to the table. As soon as I found out that he was hopping into the director’s chair a second time, firstly being with his former Troma pal Will Keenan for Chop, I was ecstatic. I can definitely say, I was not disappointed.

The film stars Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Chip, a lovable everyman who just wants to make an honest living and provide a decent life for his gorgeous girlfriend, Liza, played by AnnaLynne McCord. Right off the bat Haaga shows us the dynamic of the relationship. Chip is head over heels in love with this girl who honestly cares very little for anyone but herself. Honestly, I know I’m looking deep into what many may consider a “grindhouse” flick but I related more to Chip than any other character in the past few years. I was in a relationship like this for almost 5 years. I saw myself in Chip and that’s when I knew I was 100% along for the ride.

While Chip does his best to make an honestly living, the majority of the money made to sustain their living situation comes from Liza. She supplements their income with a sugar daddy, who makes the mistake of revealing to her the amount of money he really has. Liza presents Chip with the brilliant idea of taking the cash and running away, together forever. While hesitant at first, Chip agrees to go along with the plan as long as no one gets hurt. What happens next is a whirlwind of blood, death, and laughs!

68 Kill’s strength lies in the fact that it refuses to stay tied down. While many would agree that overall there is a dark comedic tone, there’s also a genuinely fantastic mashup of horror, action, and even a bit of 70’s exploitation thrown in. The movie is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and I attribute that to Haaga’s experience with Troma and beyond. He pulls aspects of almost everything he’s worked on and applies it here. I haven’t had the chance to read the original novel by Bryan Smith, but I can only assume it was done justice by the film. My only criticism with the film is that I wish it had been about 15-20 minutes longer. There is a portion in the middle of the film that takes place at a motel. Without giving too much away, I wish this was explored a little bit further.

Let’s talk cast! Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord have fantastic chemistry as leading “less than dynamic” duo. Gubler is phenomenal as Chip. He didn’t allow Chip to become pathetic, a task that is easier said than done. McCord is fantastic too as she gave her character just enough of a bitchy edge to make us dislike her without being annoyed. Rounding out the main cast would be the excellent Alisha Boe as Violet. Avoiding spoilers, Violet stumbles upon the couple as they’re breaking in to steal the money. She another dimension to the journey that Chip is on, and that’s what this film is all about, the journey.

Honestly, that’s all I can get into while avoiding spoilers. When the film hits Bluray/DVD I would love to give a more in depth review discussing plot points and such. IFC Midnight is killing it in the independent distribution game. Earlier this year they put out one of my favorite films, The Devil’s Candy and this is right up there with that. This is a serious contender for one of my top 5 films of the year. Trent Haaga continues to impress me with his contributions to the world of “genre film”. From the outside this film looks like another movie trying to cash in on the horror audience’s nostalgic need for “grindhouse films”. On the inside, this is a touching movie about a guy trying to truly find himself in the madness that is happening around him. But don’t get me wrong, the kills are excellent!

68 Kill comes to iTunes, Amazon Video, and all other VOD outlets on 8/4/17. It is also available on cable On Demand (XFINITY; Spectrum or your local carrier) and in select theaters in NYC and L.A.

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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IFC Midnight Reveals New Poster and Stills For Trent Haaga’s ’68 KILL’

IFC Midnight Reveals New Poster and Stills For Trent Haaga’s ’68 KILL’

IFC Midnight has just released the theatrical poster and stills for director Trent Haaga’s highly-anticipated film, 68 KILL. The film, set to hit select theaters, VOD, and via digital platforms in the U.S. on AUGUST 4, 2017, stars Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord and Alisha Boe. Check out the images below, along with the trailer!

Official Synopsis: Trailer-dwelling, sewage-pumping Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) may not lead the most glamorous life, but he’s got one thing going for him: he’s head over heels infatuated with his girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord). He’s more than willing to overlook her wild streak—the fact that she’s hooking up with their landlord; her rather extreme mood swings —so when she proposes a plot to steal $68,000, he goes along with the plan. But when what was supposed to be a simple heist turns into an off-the-rails, blood-spattered crime spree, Chip learns the hard way just how deranged the love of his life really is. The new film from Troma alum Trent Haaga blends wicked comedy with pure pulp thrills for a no-holds-barred blast of insanity.

 

 

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Scream Factory To Release “Beyond The Gates” Blu-ray On May 2nd!

Scream Factory To Release “Beyond The Gates” Blu-ray On May 2nd!

A true cult classic!

Welcome, curious viewers…have you the courage to go Beyond The Gates?  A creepy homage to ‘80s horror, Beyond The Gates makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut on May 2nd, 2017 from Scream Factory, in conjunction with IFC Midnight.  Filled with gory fun, this love letter to the VHS Golden Age of home video contains a number of bonus features, including audio commentaries with director Jackson Stewart, actress Barbara Crampton and the cast and crew, a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, and a retro-style Beyond The Gates commercial. Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

After their father’s unexplained disappearance, two estranged brothers – responsible Gordon (Graham Skipper) and reckless John (Chase Williamson) – reunite to sift through the contents of his stubbornly anachronistic VHS rental store. Among the inventory, they find an old interactive VCR board game. Intrigued, the brothers pop in the tape… and soon discover that this video is no ordinary game, but a portal to a nightmarish alternate reality, one with deadly consequences for anyone who dares to press ‘play.’

Featuring horror legend Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond), Beyond The Gates is a retro-cool tale of hex, dies, and videotape from director Jackson Stewart!

Beyond The Gates Bonus Features

  • Audio commentaries with director Jackson Stewart, actress Barbara Crampton and the cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Retro-style Beyond The Gates commercial

 

About IFC MIDNIGHT

Established in 2010 and based in New York City, IFC Midnight is a leading U.S. distributor of genre entertainment including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, erotic art house, action and more. IFC Midnight’s films include Jennifer Kent’s critically acclaimed THE BABADOOK; Can Evrenol’s gore-filled surrealist tale BASKIN, Corin Hardy’s Irish creature feature THE HALLOW, Adam MacDonald’s wilderness thriller BACKCOUNTRY; Ben Wheatley’s unconventional hitman thriller KILL LIST and Franck Khalfoun’s slasher movie MANIAC. IFC Midnight is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. Visit IFCMidnight.com

 

About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Factory Productions, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

 

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New Poster and Trailer Unveiled For Liam Gavin’s ‘A Dark Song’

New Poster and Trailer Unveiled For Liam Gavin’s ‘A Dark Song’

The U.S. trailer and poster for IFC Midnight‘s release of Liam Gavin’s A DARK SONG have just been released. The thriller will hit select theaters, VOD, and via digital platforms in the U.S. on April 28, 2017. Check out the synopsis for the film and the unnerving trailer below!

Synopsis: An unholy alliance between two damaged souls leads them on a disturbing descent into the depraved realms of black magic. Sophia (Catherine Walker) is a grieving and desperate woman with a secret. Joseph (SIGHTSEERS’ Steve Oram) is an anti-social, alcoholic expert in the occult who reluctantly agrees to help her. Holed up in a remote cabin amidst the desolate wilds of Northern Wales, the two embark on a grueling six-month series of dark rituals that will push them both to the physical and psychological breaking point. The debut feature from rising horror auteur Liam Gavin sustains an air of quietly creeping dread as it builds towards one hell of a payoff.

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