Serial killer drama coming this November from IFC Midnight
Films charting small-town serial killers and their effect on the population are omnipresent in cinema, literature and television and yet Duncan Skiles’ directorial debut THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER is just a dash different. And it’s that kink in convention that makes it such a shocking and hypnotic piece of work.
The film stars Charlie Plummer (ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD) as Tyler, a teenager coming-of-age in a Christian bible-belt community recovering from the grip of a serial sex-killer. Tyler is just discovering girls and one night, when taking a young lady out on a date, she discovers a crumpled image of a woman bound and gagged stuffed down the passenger seat of his truck. Repulsed, she asks to be taken home, despite Tyler’s insistence that the picture is not his and he’s telling the truth. Because this truck actually belongs to his dad Don (Dylan McDermott, AMERICAN HORROR STORY), an upstanding member of the community and a loving family man.
As Tyler begins finding more evidence that his father may be hiding a dark secret, Don gets more and more agitated. Are Tyler’s increasing suspicions that his dad is the still-at-large “Clovehitch Killer” unfounded? Or does the ultimate horror hold court in his home?
THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER is in theaters, On Demand and Digital HD starting November 16, 2018.
Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series is among the greatest haunted house tales ever filmed
Many years ago, when I was coming of age as a horror film obsessive, my mother mentioned that – to her- the scariest film ever made was Robert Wise’s 1963 movie THE HAUNTING. She cited the lack of blood, of violence, of anything remotely exploitative in the picture and praised the way it had the power to terrify with sound and mood and the reactions of its characters to things that went bump in the night. For someone who was in love with FANGORIA magazines and who was waking up in the era of practical special FX from goremeisters like Tom Savini, this sort of antiquated picture seemed a bit too tame for me. But then I saw the film. And I got it. And man, did it get me…
Wise’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel “The Haunting of Hill House” is indeed a marvel of dread and seems only more powerful when stacked against Jan de Bon’t vulgar 1999 FX-soaked stinker of a remake, a migraine-inducing dud that fills in all the delicate blanks of its predecessor with unimaginative shocks and overbaked imagery. News of yet another mounting of Jackson’s tale, this time as a Netflix series, might have annoyed some of THE HAUNTING’s puritanical fanbase (especially in the wake of that de Bont bummer), but turns out there’s no need to fret. Because this new incarnation, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, is helmed by OCULUS and OUIJA 2 director Mike Flanagan, a director who is probably the only voice in contemporary horror worthy of the moniker “master”. Here is a filmmaker who truly, deeply understands the mechanics of the haunted house drama, who almost always shows a deft hand at balancing character and carnage and refuses to submit to cheap shocks and savagery. Flanagan developed, wrote and directed every episode of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, making this the ultimate Flanagan experience, a ten hour free-fall into domestic hell that honors the source novel and the Wise film and still manages to feel contemporary, fresh and accessible.
In short, it’s one of the greatest small-screen horror entertainments I have ever seen.
In long, the series charts the down-spiraling fate of the Crain family – father Hugh (played in youth by Henry Thomas, in the twilight of his life by Timothy Hutton), mother Olivia (Carla Gugino) and their five children – who move into the dreaded Hill House with the aim to renovate and flip the mansion while also living within its walls. Veering between this evocative past and dismal present, we meet the now grown Crain children. The oldest boy, Steven (Michael Huisman), has changed his name to Crane and is now a successful author, whose semi-fictional account of his family’s childhood time in Hill House has made him a very wealthy man indeed. Steven is cynical and skeptical and exploits the supernatural to his own ends while harboring a Gibraltar-size grudge against his father whom, even decades later, he still suspects of killing his mother. Oldest daughter Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser) is a mortician, married with children of her own; troubled therapist Theo (Kate Siegel) is blessed/cursed with telepathic powers and wears gloves so as not to psychically react to everyone and everything she touches; and twins Nell (Victoria Pedretti) and Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) have led troubled lives since living through a terrible event in Hill House (she experiences paralyzing night terrors and he is a hopeless heroin addict), one that they can’t remember but has something to do with a “bent-necked woman” who has continued haunted them well into adulthood. When Nell’s life hits a wall and she ventures back to the now abandoned, monolithic Hill House, she is found hanged, like her mother before her, a suspected suicide. This tragedy slowly, surely and often horrifically draws the fractured family back together, steamrolling this nightmarish narrative towards its surprising, blood-chilling and deeply emotional conclusion.
Everything that marks the best of Flanagan is alive and well in THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and his delicately constructed, beautifully observed story takes the essence of Jackson’s tale and makes it his own. Everything works, from the startling performances and richly written character arcs, to the alarming production design, deliberate pacing, harrowing emotional beats and a series of swelling, brooding scares that are as sophisticated as they are merciless. This is not the formulaic modern spook show stuff of Blumhouse, nor is it the nihilistic arthouse misery of acclaimed supernatural shockers like HEREDITARY, rather Flanagan’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is, at its core, a tragedy, using hauntings as a metaphor for a family fractured by mental illness and – despite a tapestry of trauma – is still held together by an unbroken string of genuine love, one that endures even after the grave. Flanagan excels at this tightrope act, of delivering sensitive, devastating notes on familial collapse with a macabre eye for primal cares that you feel deep inside. And the emotion pushing both isn’t one of cruelty or exploitation, rather it’s sadness and a deep-seated empathy. something so rare in the genre.
While some might argue that the show’s pace and meandering dialogue might harm the end result, we strongly disagree. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is a masterpiece of its kind and one of the most satisfying and affecting entertainments Netflix has yet to produce. Binge it late at night, all night, for maximum, creep-under-the-covers effect.
To time with the impending release of the upcoming DELIRIUM Magazine #18, artist and designer Chad Savage has totally re-vamped our web portal www.DeliriumMagazine.com! In the coming weeks, expect a new wave of fresh, original content, including film and music reviews, exclusive interviews, essays and news as well as sneak peek looks at pages from our acclaimed print magazine!
Here’s a page from our exclusive interview with Oscar nominated screenwriter (GLADIATOR, SWEENEY TODD, SKYFALL, ALIEN: COVENANT) and PENNY DREADFUL creator John Logan, discussing his adoration of both Shakespeare AND horror movies. It’s a wild read!
This feature and tons more await you in our David Cronenberg-heavy 18th issue (scroll down to see our incredible cover by photographer Ama Lea) and you can order that issue now by going HERE!
Keep visiting www.DeliriumMagazine.com and explore some of the great editorial we’ll be running. At DELIRIUM, we’re not just riffing on horror movies, but ALL cult, fantasy, exploitation and oddball cinema. We just throw all our messy shared psyches at the wall and whatever sticks ends up in our magazine, and now…here. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Thanks for reading and sticking with us. Things are about to get weird (er)!
– Chris Alexander, EIC and co-founder, DELIRIUM Magazine
Shipping October 25th, our 18th issue sees photographer Ama Lea locking down “The Lord of the New Flesh” himself, iconic director David Cronenberg for an EXCLUSIVE cover and inner-gallery photo shoot. Inside you’ll find tons of Cronenberg content, interviews with DC, Debbie Harry, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Penny Dreadful creator John Logan, actress and performer Tristan Risk, THE RANGER’s Heather Buckley and Jenn Wexler plus the history of CHARLTON COMICS and so much more awesomeness!
For our 17th sickening issue, we dial back the clock to the dawn of the 1980s, the resurgence of the 3D horror movie and the birth of Charles Band’s bizarre 3D dystopian monster movie PARASITE!
Our coverage features words with composer Richard Band, stars Luca Bercovici and Cherie Currie and memoirs from Charles Band. We also pile on looks at other 3D classics as well as esoteric features like Bercovici’s own THE GRANNY, a look back at PROM NIGHT III, CIRCUS OF HORROR, artists Eric Adrian Lee and Jason Newsted and so much more. And we even have an EXCLUSIVE preview of our new Full Moon Comix title DOLLMAN KILLS THE FULL MOON UNIVERSE, with an amazing new 2 page adventure that pits Dollman against the perpetually high Gingerweed Man.
All this and more mania await you inside the pages of DELIRIUM #17!
In a world where the illusions and fantasies of sex have been replaced with easily accessible pornography, we tip our hat to more sensual and stranger classic softcore cinema, with a look at Europe’s master of sex Jess Franco’s work, a dive into the retro-roughie world of Something Weird Video, boutique label Cult Epics, 90’s video store faves Surrender Cinema and much more.
We also have new, classy/trashy hot shots of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 star Caroline Williams and SLEEPAWAY CAMP actress Felissa Rose courtesy of our visionary photographer Ama Lea, new interviews with MICROWAVE MASSACRE producer Craig Muckler and classic 80s slasher flick ICED director Jeff Kwitny and filmmaker Adam Rifkin remembers his 1990 gem THE INVISIBLE MANIAC. Throw in the horror art of Matthew Thieren and a wild chat with RAWHEAD REX director George Pavlou and BLAMMO you have what might be the weirdest, wettest and wickedest DELIRIUM yet!
We do not have much info at this moment, but we can tell you director Charles Band will begin shooting HALLOWEED NIGHT this summer for a fall release. We love this poster that riffs on John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. Stay tuned!
Full Moon Features is back with the next awesome installment of the hit franchise EVIL BONG. This time we are flying high in Las Vegas for an even scarier and far out trip! It is time to get ‘ripped’ on the ‘strip’ in EVIL BONG 777! EeBee, Rabbit, Lucy Furr, Faux Batty and the gang are back for more hilarious HIGHjinx. Directed by legendary filmmaker Charles Band, this chapter will feature the most insane Giant Puppet Burlesque Show ever filmed and introduce some seriously crazy new characters!
DELIRIUM – Full Moon’s original cult, fantasy, horror and exploitation film print magazine – has JUST released its 15th bloody and brilliant issue!
In it we focus on new Latin horror, with a cover story spotlight on acclaimed Mexican-born filmmaker and actress Gigi Saul Guerrero (MEXICO BARBERO) as well as previews of upcoming Latin chillers and a look at Mexico’s dark, death-centric subculture. We also celebrate the work of erotic actress Jacqueline Lovell (HEAD OF THE FAMILY, FEMALIEN), look at James Cullen Bressack’s latest chiller BETHANY, remember cult classics MUTANT, THE OMEGA MAN, ABBY, BLOODY PIT OF HORROR, Blaxploitation horror flick ABBY and much, much more! DELIRIUM #15 is on sale now via Full Moon Direct, along with all 14 original back issues, T-Shirts and more. Buy individual issues or become a subscriber today!
BUT if print media magazines aren’t your thing, we have some AMAZING news!
DELIRIUM is now available DIGITALLY! That’s right, you can now buy every single issue of DELIRIUM digitally via iTunes and Kindle! Get all the exclusive horror news, amazing interviews, original artwork, photos and stories you can handle sent DIRECTLY to your smartphone or digital device of choice!