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Rise of Chewthulu


There is no better time than the Monday following Fort Collins Comic Con to dish out some thanks! We are incredibly grateful to the individuals who helped create FC3 and make it such a huge success. We are also so thankful to all the con attendees who took the time to stop by our booth! Efrit and I had a blast getting to meet all of you, and for those of you who headed over here to our site, we hope you have enjoyed it, and we hope to continue to entertain and inform in the realm of horror!

Today’s comic “Chewthulu” was a joke spawned from the convention that we decided to share with our readers. We were offering custom card drawings of any request one could come up with for $2 to spread the love, and our first request was for “Chewbacca with tentacles”. It was such an epic request and I had a blast drawing it! He was aptly named Chewthulu by Efrit and became an instant highlight from the con! We really enjoyed doing those custom drawings! We won’t always have a booth at cons, but I’ll keep a pen and cards on me at future cons if anyone catches us and wants a quick sketch!

As we talked with you guys at the con, a common question came up. “What is our favorite horror movie so far this year?” It was an entirely valid question, and one we were embarrassingly ill-prepared for, but I thought I’d take this time for our Monday post to look back on the year and pick out a couple of films we’ve loved, a couple we’d suggest avoiding, and a couple we are still looking forward to catching some time this year.

2015 Top 3 (Thus Far)

The Visit – We were able to catch this film on our way from FC3 and ended up rather enjoying it. We were impressed with M. Night Sham…Shimmy…Shamamanimal’s direction, and, if nothing else, it was the best movie he has done in years. It delivered some creepy moments, along with a few great scares. Yet it retained some of Shamayalabuff’s touch of human spirit he has always tried to incorporate in his films, but has all-too-often of late failed to do so. Efrit and I agreed the performances of the two young actors were some of the best we have seen in years and really helped in the delivery of the humor and horror.

The humor, which was surprisingly regular throughout the film, gave a feel to the film that never fully committed to horror comedy, but was present enough throughout that you have to mention it as a vehicle to the film. It seemed to be a message to the audience from the beginning that Night Mammalian just wasn’t going to take this thing as seriously as he has in the past and just have fun. That seemed to come across in the final product. While I’ll say the trailer spoiled many of the key moments, the entirety of the film culminated in a climactic final act that had Shamamalien written all over it. Don’t call it a comeback! No, seriously…don’t.

Sinister 2 – Horror sequels have been doing a good job lately of holding their own to the original. While I was sadly unable to join Efrit on the Sinister 2 viewing, according to my friend from down under (not that down under), the film was a successful sequel that properly expanded on the mythos developed in the first film. The focus on the children was an effective direction for the film to realize its antagonist’s structure fully.

Insidious Chapter 3 – Usually there is a gradual drop-off from unplanned sequels, but Insidious Chapter 3 managed to be even more impressive than Chapter 2. While actually a prequel, Chapter 3 delivered a style of horror we have come to expect from the series and it still hasn’t bored us yet. The design of the ethereal antagonist was spot-on with the first film, in that the creature’s motives and blueprint is propelled mostly with visual cues. The balance of tension and your own imagination allows for some of the best storytelling and atmosphere we have gotten in horror in recent years.

Honorable Mentions: Maggie (a surprisingly good performance by Arnie, but was relatively uneventful), Monsters: Dark Continent (I loved the effects work, but it was by no means horror and was heavy-handed in its approach)

2015 Bottom 3 (Thus Far)

Into the Grizzly Maze – An example of how bad directing, poor effects and an even worse script can make a decent cast of actors look foolish and C-class.

The Gallows – Pegged as one of the scariest movies in recent memory, The Gallows was a significant disappointment. It failed to reach the hype it set for itself, reaching for gasps and only delivering yawns. Another example of the over-saturation of the found footage genre. We need a break.

The Vatican Tapes – Demonic possession movies are a subgenre of horror that have become an increasingly difficult medium in which a director can differentiate his story. The Vatican Tapes is sadly a victim of this difficulty and delivered little in the realm of originality and quality.

2015 Films We Are Looking Forward To

Stung – In this writer’s eyes, Ticks (also called “Infested”) is a severely underrated cult classic horror film from the early 90s. It had all the spunk, camp, and practical effects a gory creature feature fan could hope for. Stung looks like it is taking a similar approach, but with wasps. It looks like it’ll be heavy on the effects work, with a more direct approach to the humor side of things. At the very least, it looks like a good time.

Crimson Peak – This is being pitched as Guillermo del Toro’s [American] masterpiece. The trailer definitely imposes a strong atmosphere, formed primarily by the always-fantastic effects and set work of del Toro. With a strong cast, this film looks to be the moment del Toro puts everything together. It isn’t At the Mountains of Madness like we all wished it would have been, but perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised, and so will a production company that will green light Mountains.

Honorable Mentions: The Hallow (aforementioned in this post), Krampus (also previously discussed here), The Boy

2015 Films We Are Hesitant To Watch

Area 51 – Another found footage film that has rumors of taking forever to build up steam and delivers little in the realm of scares and entertainment.

The Human Centipede 3 – Where the first two films had morbidly original concepts and goals, the third one, we have heard, lacks style, creativity, originality, and substance. Oh c’mon…the first two didn’t have any of that either…It’s a shock film for the sake of shocks, we all know what we’re walking into here…

Dishonorable Mentions: None. We hate to judge too many books by just the cover, as the saying goes.

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan