Whether bound for the big screen or set for viewing as home entertainment, horror films - both new and old - shamble out of the dark in the weeks preceding Halloween, usually culminating with a plethora of creepy flicks on the holiday itself.
Those looking for a good cinematic scare will find that Hollywood has generously served up a bountiful harvest of horror movies that are in current rotation at Tampa Bay area theaters. The following is a bevy of frightful films released in recent weeks - and a few due to claw their way into theaters by Oct. 31.
Sometimes, it's difficult to recommend a movie that - by design - is viciously disheartening and disturbing.
"Aftermath," a brutal end-of-the-world thriller directed by Peter Engert, is such a film: It's bleak, depressing and discouraging - but as a poignant elegy for post-apocalyptic civilization, it is powerfully effective.
With a name like "All Cheerleaders Die," it's evident that this new Image Entertainment/RLJ Entertainment release - scheduled for VOD and limited theatrical release June 13 - is meant for a niche market.
That very specific demographic of hardcore horror aficionados may be pleasantly surprised by this little cinematic gem. "All Cheerleaders Die" is sloppy - its plot choppy and its CGI lackluster - but it's still darkly funny, inventive and occasionally scary - well, mildly unsettling, anyway.
Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 is the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine laboratory, operated by Florida International University and situated 63 feet below the surface near deep coral reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Cousteau’s Mission 31 expedition broke new ground in ocean exploration paying homage to the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s efforts of leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work at the first underwater habitat for humans. Mission 31 honored Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s original experiment on Conshelf Two by going deeper, longer and further while broadcasting each moment live on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, drama and mystique of what lies beneath.
Simply put, "The Book of Life" is probably not what audiences expect. It's better than that.
It's not a cookie-cutter kids' film, with a predictable plot and stock characters. Its animation is not Disneyesque or Pixar-like - in fact, it's something quite unique and unexpected, strikingly innovative and visually stunning. It mercifully exchanges endless one-liners and pop culture references for colorful atypical characters and a compelling narrative woven from threads of Mexican myth, folklore and culture.
“Running with Demons,” an award-winning documentary by Tampa Bay area filmmakers Tony Armer and J. Declan Flynn, was released on Netflix on Oct. 14.
The release of this documentary is the culmination of five years of hard work and perseverance, according to a press release from Indican Pictures, a boutique distribution company based in Hollywood, California, specializing in feature films.
“Running with Demons” is the story of Todd Crandell, a man who battled through severe alcohol and drug addictions following his mother's suicide. Destitute and homeless, Todd found a way to cope with his demons and began a new journey that took him across the globe competing in the most extreme of all endurance races: the Ironman.
A modest number of animated films have reached theaters in 2014, including a few high-profile ventures such as DisneyToon Studios' "Planes: Fire & Rescue," DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," Blue Sky Studios' "Rio 2" and the Warner Bros. film "The Lego Movie."
Joining that league - and appealing to an enthusiastic niche market - is "My Little Pony - Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks."
The film is a sequel to the 2013 film "My Little Pony - Equestria Girls." Both films developed from the animated television series "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic." That series is actually the latest My Little Pony incarnation following several generations of shows and merchandise that dates back to a line of plastic pony toys developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D'Aguanno which debuted in 1983. The franchise has been developed and expanded by Hasbro.
CLEARWATER - Local restaurateur Nicholas Kalantzis - owner of Georgie Boys Restaurant on Missouri Avenue in Clearwater - recently got an unexpected request.
Georgie Boys Restaurant is playing host to a feature film. Kalantzis’ involvement with the feature film "Illusions," currently filming in the Tampa/Clearwater area, came about when one of his regular patrons asked if he could use the facility to shoot a scene there.
Georgie Boys Restaurant has been in business for more than seven years. Kalantzis named the restaurant after his oldest son, George. He started working in his father's restaurant when he was just 10 years old and has been in the restaurant business ever since.
"I love owning a restaurant because I love serving families and providing them with a family atmosphere," he said in a press release. He jumped at the chance to be part of the film production. “This is a good thing that's helping the local community."