It might be November but the weather is still fine in Aberystwyth as their genre film festival, Abertoir, turns campsite in theme to celebrate their entry to teenagerdom. There are bound to be echoes of “Ki, ki, ki; ma, ma, ma” with a Welsh accent ringing throughout the Arts Centre venue as creator of the Friday the 13th, Sean S. Cunningham, attend as guest of honor. Amongst other camp counselor duties, he’ll be at hand for a Filmmaking Masterclass (free for Aberystwyth University Theatre, Film and Television students), In Conversation Event as well as influencing the programming of movie titles in selection. Take a look below at the full line up of films playing over the next few days and throughout the weekend. Don’t miss the legendary off-site movie excursion, which this year will be Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D.
10:30 The Tokoloshe
12:20 Occult Bolshevism – UK PREMIERE
14:00 Do Serial Killers Really Exist? A Presentation by Gavin Baddeley
15:15 Offsite Screening: Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D
21:30 Pub Quiz
00:00 Slumber Party Massacre
The Black Forest
Thursday, 15th November
11:30 Blue My Mind
13:30 Cut and Run: A Brief History of the Slasher – a presentation by Steve Jones
15:00 Short Films Competition Part 1 (see below for films screening)
18:15 Last Man on Earth with Animat Live Soundtrack
22:30 The Black Forest – UK PREMIERE
00:30 Bloody Moon
Party Hard, Die Young
Friday, 16th November
11:00 Summer of 84
13:10 My Bloody Valentine
15:30 Short Films Competition Part 2 (see below for films screening)
18:00 Friday the 13th
19:45 Sean S. Cunningham in conversation with Stephen Thrower
22:45 The Last House on the Left
00:30 Party Hard, Die Young – UK PREMIERE
Saturday, 17th November
11:00 Sean S. Cunningham’s The Nurse with the Purple Hair
12:00 Sean S. Cunningham – Filmmaking Masterclass
15:00 Nicko and Joe’s Bad Film Club
17:30 One Cut of the Dead
19:30 Assassination Nation
21:45 Prom Night
23:15 Camp Abertoir Valentine’s Prom Night
The Elvis Dead
Sunday, 18th November
14:30 Silent Shorts Vol IV
16:45 Scala Forever! A Presentation by Jane Giles
18:30 Anna and the Apocalypse
20:30 The Elvis Dead
Short Films Competition Screening Blocks
Screening Thursday, 15th November at 3pm
Baghead (Alberto Corredor Marina, UK 2017, 15 minutes)
Caronte (Luis Tinoco, Spain 2017, 15 minutes)
Reprisal (Mike Malajalian, Lebanon 2017, 10 minutes)
Miedos (Germán Sancho Celestino, Spain 2018, 9 minutes)
Post-Mortem Mary (Joshua Long, Australia 2017, 10 minutes)
Who’s That At The Back of the Bus? (Philip Hardy, UK 2018, 5 minutes)
FlyTrap (Connor Bland, USA 2018, 7 minutes)
Centrifugado (Mireia Noguera, Spain 2017, 11 minutes)
Sunscapades (Ben Mitchell, UK/Canada 2018, 6 minutes)
Post-apocalyptic storytelling is painted by the fears of its filmmaker. The way humanity devolves into chaos and the balance of light and dark looking for a better tomorrow. Whether it is a natural disaster, unspeakable violence, disease or belief, the end of the world storytelling is a platform for emotional performances, cinematography, and score at the forefront. What Still Remains tells the story of a young woman named Anna (Lulu Antariksa), who has cut herself off from the world which is now rebuilding after a terrible disease. Isolated and dead inside after the loss of her family, Anna meets a traveler named Peter (Colin O’Donoghue) who offers her a new home and chance to come live in the community he is from. Understanding her chances of survival and being open to what these survivors might be able to offer her, Anna agrees to follow Peter to the community and escaping the danger of being alone. Lead by survivors Judith (Mimi Rogers) and Zack (Jeff Kober), the community follows the law of religion to keep order amongst the chaos of a new world. With each day that goes by, the personal agendas and religious conflict from within divides them. Each moment causes more tension to mount as the community must deal with not only the direction going forward but also the siege by an outside tribe of savage humans called the ‘Berserkers.’ As these events unfold and the community deals attempts to keep order, Anna must not only deal with the grief of her lost family, but she must be true to herself amongst the darkness and find her way in this new world. In the same mold of storytelling (minus the zombies) like AMC’sThe Walking Dead,comes What Still Remains.
Blending a smart and reactionary array of instrumentation to fully flush out the film’s pulse, the score for What Still Remains tells more than a story but the scope of a journey where the pieces are being picked up from a lost world and its survivors who have to rebuild. Infused with an emotion and power, the film’s score finds a partnership with the sound design to help to fully flush out the films narrative, conflict, and characters. Over the last fifteen years, composer Jonathan Beard has been involved with film music in nearly 100 major studio music departments and on every level. Beard has worked in a variety of studio music departments on the likes of Deadpool, The Nun, The Cloverfield Paradox, Happy Death Day, The Dark Tower (that’s only a portion since 2017), plus more. Gaining experience and honing his craft, Beard’s first genre feature film composition is brought to life with this thriller. Leaving his fingerprint of this emotional and tense themes, we grabbed Beard to talk about that fingerprint as a rising composer. We talk with Beard about the relationship between him and director Mendoza, where his influences fall within the genre, the process of creating a score for the lead character of Anna, as well as what challenges came when taking on a feature of this nature.
Watch What Still Remains on VOD or pick up your copy of right now! Follow the film and watch the trailer on it’s IMDB page. Find out more about composer Jonathan Beard on his website.
Dread Central: Hello Jonathan, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions on What Still Remains. First, can you discuss how you became attached to the film?
Jonathan Beard: Thank you so much for having me, Jay! My path to getting attached to What Still Remains came through a short film I had previously scored called A Killer of Men. That film was directed by WSR’s producer Gregg Meller and produced by WSR director Josh Mendoza. We all became friends through that project, and I was thrilled when Josh invited me back to the team for What Still Remains.
DC: This is Josh Mendoza’s first feature. What was it like to collaborate on such an experience and what did your experience in film score and music bring to the production to make this the best overall collaboration?
JB: While Josh had not directed a feature before, his previous production and writing experience (as well as personality) made him a very steady hand leading and guiding the ship. Often with music, new directors have minimal previous experience dealing with the scoring process. It’s my job as the composer to help work through the process with them! However, we worked very quickly. He was very secure and clear about what he wanted musically. He gave precise creative notes when they were necessary, and was simultaneously open to ideas I had, that he wouldn’t have necessarily thought of. This is an immensely enjoyable type of creative environment in which to compose!
DC: If I am reading this correctly, this is your first project as a composer that borders on horror. Can you talk about if you are a fan of the genre and what genre films you are a fan when it comes to scoring?
JB: I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers that overlap into the world of horror. Silence of the Lambs, for instance, is one of my favorite movies of all time. Howard Shore’s score is so claustrophobic in its intimacy; to me, it plays a huge role in the effectiveness of the film. It is also a special thing when the music gets to speak on multiple “emotional levels” of an unsettling story simultaneously. A number of Bernard Herrmann’s scores for Hitchcock, as a classic example, or more recently Bear McCreary’s scores for the last two Cloverfield films, do this virtuosically. I love that!
I also have a fondness for the inventiveness of many classic slasher film scores – Friday the 13th, the original Halloween, etc. I was fairly young but remember vividly when Scream came out, and Kevin Williamson’s script so smartly reinvigorated the genre. Some of the self-awareness of that film, as well as Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Marco Beltrami’s score for Scream was so evocative and unsettling. It helped take him to the A-list of film composing. His score played an important role in Scream’s dramatic success.
DC: How does your experience in the music departments on TV, video games, and genre work (like Penny Dreadful, Kong, Brimstone, and 10 Cloverfield Lane) influence the score and help to form it?
JB: The composers of the scores you mentioned, and I’m thrilled to work as an orchestrator, are some of the best in the business. I learn so much from them, just seeing (and being a part of) how they work, seeing their musical approaches to dramatic challenges, and how to deliver excellent work at an elite level. While the films I take on as a composer are usually smaller and quirkier, there is no way I could not be positively affected by the examples these composers set!
DC: What Still Remains is an ensemble piece for the most part. However, you have one main character in Anna (Lulu Antariksa) who is the thread throughout this narrative. What was it like to compose themes that represented a community in flux and a young woman who is at a crossroads?
JB: Lulu’s portrayal of Anna is so wonderfully understated, subtle, and strong. The most notable element of Anna as a character is that she is the one constant force for good in the film, whereas every other person around her exists in a dark shade of gray at best. For the musical motifs in the score that primarily represent the community she joins, we wove layers of subtle sound design and “unnatural” sounds throughout their arrangements. The theme for the Berserkers, the most straightforward “villains” of the film (though they too exist in shades of gray), is 100% electronic sound-design. Anna’s thematic material, comparatively, is primarily made up of acoustic strings – quietly strong, accompanying her journey, but also anchoring her decency and hope.
DC: How did the score evolve from the first time you saw the film to what we hear on the final product?
JB: It depends on the definition of first seeing! I was signed to the project before production started and composed the Berserkers’ “whistling motif” before shooting began (since it shows up on screen throughout the film), based off of the script. I also visited the set during filming and recorded some of the actors’ performances for inspiration. I then started composing my main themes inspired by my set visit as well as early bits of rough footage, and some of that thematic material went into the film largely unchanged. By the time we were looking at the first rough-cut assembly of the film, a number of the score ingredients were solidly in place, including our primary musical “colors” of sound design and chamber orchestra. From there, it was mostly a process of passing music back and forth with Josh to get his insights and finesse cues into their final versions.
DC: Did any other post-apocalyptic films influence how you constructed the score for the film? Did locations and sets influence it?
JB: I would say my approach to the score is more directly influenced by the psychological thriller genre than post-apocalyptic films per se, though I recognize there are a number of them that make use of sound design in their scores, which What Still Remains certainly contains. The locations definitely influenced me, along with the performances of our stellar cast.
DC: What challenges came with composing the score?
JB: The biggest challenges were the ones we attacked early on: finding the right sound-palette and dramatic tone for what is both a subtly complex emotional story and a slowly building dread into explosive violence. We tried out a few different versions of the Berserker “whistle” motif, which needed to be both strangely menacing and easy enough to whistle! The whistle motif gets woven into the orchestral fabric of the score as well. Also, because I was brought on early in the process, we were able to take our time to find that electronics-vs.-orchestra color balance representing our different factions of characters, and I think the score is stronger for it.
DC: What scene from this film, do you feel defines your work on this project?
JB: I would offer three if I may. #1 would be “Peter’s Theme,” which we first hear in full during a very unsettling baptism scene. #2 would be a scene that, on its surface, doesn’t necessarily seem that exciting: a dialog scene between Anna and Ben, the village head of security. (The music cue that accompanies this scene is “Ben and Anna Dance with Words.”) However, what’s being discussed on the surface is 100% cover for what’s being insinuated below the surface, something that this film does repeatedly so well. The score gets to weave between those two levels. Finally, #3 would have to be the final scene of the film (“Requiem and the Ocean”), where we hear Anna’s theme in its most affirmative iteration, celebrating her own sense of strength and self-belief.
DC: There is a lot of gray area with these characters due to the situation they are put in to survive and the amount of power in a post-apocalyptic world. Does that pose a challenge for you as the composer to find the right theme to bring them life and show who they are?
JB: In many ways, this lack of clarity on characters’ motivations, the ambiguity of whether they are “good” or “bad” people…that was the most fun element to tackle in the score. For example, Peter (O’Donoghue) presents a delicious musical opportunity: an intriguing and initially sympathetic character that is ultimately not what he seems. The theme for Peter is built around an unsettling four-note motif that blurs major and minor modes, as well as a repetition that becomes more claustrophobic and intense as it progresses. Without giving too much away, there are a couple of major scenes (including the baptism) where this theme gets to flex its dramatic muscles!
DC: What instrumentation did you feel fit this score? Did that change from the beginning to what we see on the screen?
JB: We figured out pretty early on that the electronic sound design/chamber orchestra hybrid would work well. That was pretty much set before the film was even finished shooting. From there, it just came down to execution and filling in the remaining gaps. On the electronic side, the very talented Sam Estes came in and collaborated with me on some austere and unusual sound design, which you hear in the Berserkers theme every time they show up. As an example, on the acoustic side, when we figured out that the contrabassoon should take the main melodic solo in Peter’s Theme, it gave us all chills!
DC: How does it feel now to see the film out and the score such a crucial part of this film?
JB: In a word: fantastic. The response to this film has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of the immensely talented team that Josh and Gregg assembled. The cast is so talented, and to have the music join them – as almost a quiet behind-the-scenes character – in telling this story is an honor.
It’s been a decade since we last had an official Friday the 13th film, and with the way things are going between Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham it seems that’s the way things are going to be for a while. Luckily for fans, a brand new project is emerging from Voorhees Films that just might fill […]
With the state of horror being what it is in 2018 it feels like half of the movies that are released can be described as “divisive”, especially when it comes to remakes. Here we are again, about to discuss another film that will surely split the horror community right down that center. That’s right, fuckos! This week we’re discussing Luca Guadagnino’s newly released reimagining of Suspiria. (Review starts at 22:30) How does Thom Yorke’s score hold up to the Goblin original? Does it suffer from not having the bright, enchanting colors of the original? Does the extra 60 minute run time add anything at all to the film? Only one way to find out, huh? Well, technically there’s plenty of ways, but you get the idea.
In addition to what is sure to be highly intellectual, well thought out analysis of Suspiria, Rhett walks us through his recent rewatch of the Friday the 13th franchise, and Matt politely explains to him why his favorite in the series is the wrong choice. There can be only one.
Gobble, Gobble, Motherfucker! It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 188!
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The 2009 film reimagined Jason in a different (but still terrifying) light, and this figure is extra-detailed to match. It features two interchangeable heads (one has a removable mask) and the all-new, extra-articulated Ultimate body, plus loads of accessories: machete, axe, fire poker, hammer and screwdriver.
Comes in display-friendly window box packaging with opening flap.
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Inspired by slasher films and games such as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Naughty Bear. Either that, or you’ve subconsciously erased it from memory. We wouldn’t blame you, to be honest.
Snark aside, developer Artificial Mind and Movement had quite a fun premise on its hands with Naughty Bear. It’s a game which takes place within a kid’s TV show where a colony of bears frolic around a fairytale forest. Thing is, one of these bears is not like the others, lacking their same perfect stitching or vibrant colors.
The game starts with the titular Naughty Bear being late to a party. The battle-worn teddy decides that he no longer wants to be an outsider and so goes out of his way to make a present. He’s turned over a new leaf. However, when the others bears get a glimpse of his gift (which is confusing, as its a generic box with a bowtie) they humiliate him.
So, as is tradition in children’s TV shows, they eventually overcome their differences and viewers come away enlightened, having learned an important lesson and conflict resolution and acceptance. Actually, no, Naughty returns his shack, grabs a machete, and immediately goes about enacting his revenge.
If there’s one thing the game gets right, it’s the fun juxtaposition of this cartoon world with the kind of murderous rampage reserved for films such as Friday the 13th. Bizarrely, there are also a number of parallels between Naughty Bear and the recent Friday the 13th video game. The way you hunt down enemies while trying not to fall for their diversions reminded me of stalking camp counselors in last year’s multiplayer murder sim.
The bears will try to flee from Naughty, running to cars and boats. Others will shut themselves inside, barricade doors, try to call the cops, or, as a last resort, attack with whatever weapons they can find though it’s often not enough. Even the way executions are carried out all echo Friday the 13th. To make things just that little more intriguing, the developer of Naughty Bear would later become Behaviour Interactive, the team behind Friday the 13th’s gaming rival, Dead By Daylight.
Sadly, Naughty Bear wasn’t much fun to play. The repetitive loop of chasing bears and killing them off quickly wore thin with little variation to keep players hooked. The game’s focus on score-chasing and keeping a multiplier running seemed completely at odds with how the game was being pitched. Each stage would rapidly turn into a massacre with stealth going completely out the window.
Playful in premise yet sloppy in its execution, Naughty Bear reviewed in the low 40s when it launched more than eight years ago on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It, therefore, came as a surprise when 505 Games published a sequel in 2012, even if it was download-only. It’s not a game we’d strongly recommend though is definitely worth picking up if you want to see how it translates slasher tropes and have a few bucks to burn.
As the actor who played the loveable loser Shelley in Friday the 13th: Part III (the chapter where Jason acquires his iconic hockey mask), you’d expect Larry Zerner to know more than the average Joe about the ongoing lawsuit between original Friday scribe Victor Miller and director Sean Cunningham. But Zerner is more than just an insider, he’s an entertainment lawyer, meaning he’s probably got his head wrapped around this complex situation better than anybody!
Zerner recently sat down with the folks at Slash ‘N Cast, YouTube’s “#1 source for all horror news, reviews, unboxings, and horror gaming” where he breaks down the legalese in terms we can all understand. Set aside half an hour for yourself and give the video a spin below.
A whole lot has happened in the world of Friday the 13th this year, at least behind the scenes. And let’s face it. Most of us aren’t legal experts, so all the messiness has been quite confusing.
Enter Larry Zerner. In addition to playing beloved character Shelly in Friday the 13th: Part III, Zerner is also an entertainment lawyer who happens to specialize in copyrights (go figure, eh?!), and he’s really been our main source of continued clarification about the legal mess that the Friday the 13th franchise has spent the last couple years mired in. It’s Zerner, mostly through Twitter, who has made sense of all the confusion, boiling each new piece of information down to its essence and making it easy for us all to understand.
The most recent developments? A judge has ruled that writer Victor Miller is the sole owner of the original Friday the 13th screenplay (in the United States only, oddly enough), but the judge declined to make a ruling on who currently owns the character of “adult Jason Voorhees,” who of course didn’t actually appear within the franchise until the second film.
Subsequently, Friday the 13th director Sean Cunningham filed an appeal, and then we soon thereafter learned that LeBron James is actively working on getting his hands into the franchise. So what’s the current state of everything going on, who exactly owns what, and how are things likely to play out from here? In a chat with Slash ‘n Cast, Zerner breaks it all down.
This is an *essential* watch, if you’re a big time Friday the 13th fan…
Jason Lives is one of my favorite chapters in the Friday the 13thfranchise, so when I heard there was a fan film in the works that picks up after the 6th chapter, I was definitely curious. Friday the 13th: Vengeance recently passed its funding goals on Kickstarter, pulling in over $40K at the time of this posting. With that kind of loot, Friday fans are hoping for something phenomenal.
Synopsis: Vengeance takes place roughly thirty years after the events of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. The story begins with Elias Voorhees, Jason’s father, returning to Crystal Lake and a string of grisly murders that soon follows his arrival. After hearing the news of the most recent killings Tommy Jarvis then goes missing, which leaves it up to his daughter Angelica Jarvis to rise to the challenge of not only finding her father, but also finding a way to destroy his old nemesis Jason Voorhees in the process. Armed with knowledge never previously known about Jason, Angelica may prove to be his greatest threat yet, which culminates in an epic showdown of Jarvis vs. Voorhees.
Since the Friday the 13th franchise has been struggling to maintain its relevance in the 21st Century (mostly owing to studio mismanagement of the property) fan films are becoming an important extension of the mythos. With filmmaking technologies and resources now available to up-and-comers, some amazing stuff is being produced completely independent of the Hollywood machinery.
You can learn more about Friday the 13th: Vengeance on their Kickstarter page, HERE. The film is directed by Jeremy Brown and stars C.J. Graham, Steve Dash, and Lexington Vanderberg.
Are you a Friday the 13th fan? Are you excited to check out the fan film Friday the 13th: Vengeance? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!