Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Horror Never Ends

Hiya Ghouls, it's yours truly with more horror than gruesomely possible and this time we take a look at the films The Cabining and You're Next, as well as Issue 2 (Spring 2014) of Zombies Magazine. Incidentally, a special thanks goes out to director Stephen Kopera for taking the time to send Staying Scared a review screener.
Also, while we're on the subject and since Wee Willie Wicked is growing antsy, hey indie folks...want your film honestly reviewed and posted on Staying Scared and/or maybe a few other places? What about all you both online and off horror magazine folks? Staying Scared would love to critique it. Email us at or even drop a copy in the mail to

Staying Scared
c/o Thomas Scopel
25A Byron Ellinor Drive
Ormond Beach, FL 32176
be sure to include any contact info.

The Cabining 2013
Todd (Mike Kopera) is a motivated screenplay writing wannabe who has little experience in the field. Bruce (Bo Keister) is his egotistical partner sidekick that is more interested in the various surroundings than he is to write.
Todd & Bruce
Sarge (Richard Riehle) is Todd’s wealthy uncle who is seeking to invest and proposes to fund the entire film project only if the screenplay is worthy enough and it is completely written in two weeks.
Down on their luck and with their most recent screenplay being far less than stellar, Bruce convinces Todd to attend Shangri-La, a retreat specializing in creative juice motivation that caters to artists, writers and musicians alike.
Upon arrival, the two meet the proprietor Monroe (Mark Rademacher), a kindly and refined fellow, Mindy (Angela Relucio), a dedicated writer of short tales who is desperately trying to find a way to tie them all together, the worldly French sculptor Celeste (Melissa Mars), Larson (Jackson Thompson), a musician / songwriter who proudly boasts that he’s had some success overseas and Jasper (Luce Rains), a rather dark, artistic loner type with a penitence for the macabre. Immediately apparent are Bruce’s carnal instincts, however, in all defense, he does provide motivation in his own little way.  
Suddenly, one by one begins dying off in gruesome and morbid ways, which makes Todd uneasy and unable to concentrate on writing. Before long, Detective Berwyn (Chuck Saale) and especially Detective Conner (Joseph Barone) are on the case in less than believable characters that, in all honesty, is due to the character being portrayed more so than lack of acting ability.
However, in the meantime, Mindy has taken a liking to Todd and while teaching him standard writing intricacies, obviously hopes for something more. It is only after yet another death that Todd almost miraculously finds his writing niche and proceeds into what appears to be an exceptional screenplay.
But, who is the killer?
And will Todd complete the screenplay in time or at all?

Sharply written by Steve Kopera and David Silverman, the film is also exceptionally directed by Steve Kopera and has all the earmarks of a big studio production. As a matter of fact, if unaware of it being an independent film, one would never suspect. From the opening credits to the closing frames, this film, while not overly gory, maintains stride throughout and will have the audience guessing the entire time. And, unlike most films utilizing the typical serial killer subject, The Cabining takes the viewer on a journey through believable character actions, witty dialogue and well considered locations that will make the audience fully engaged.
Fantastically original, The Cabining is a top ranked indie horror flick that Staying Scared proudly gives 4 creepy peeking clowns.

When it comes to the serial killer flick, most are typically nothing more than boring clich├ęs. But, then there is You’re Next, a fresh take on an age old premise that is both intriguing and engaging, with enough twists to make even Agatha Christie sit up and take notice.
Estranged and dysfunctional, the Davison siblings hesitantly attend their wealthy parents’ secluded mansion on the eve of their 35th wedding anniversary, and soon become the target of a gang of murderous thugs.
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, the film does for plastic animal masks what the tricycle riding puppet did for Saw and is actually surprising that although Lion’s Gate pick up the film in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival, the studio would only offer the film at various festivals for the following couple of years. What isn’t surprising is that in 2013, after obtaining wide release, the film went on to become a hit with those familiar with the genre and grossed over 7 million dollars on opening weekend alone.
While all fright films include standard fare intent on making the audience jump, You’re Next is better than average in this department. Superior in effects depicting gruesome brutality using an array of weapons including crossbows, knives, screwdrivers and a large, heavy maul type axe, there is more than enough gore to make even the harshest critics cringe. However, exceptional horror flicks do not run on carnage alone and in this case it is the ever resourceful Erin (Sharni Vinson) character that steals the show and might even give Jason, Michael or Freddy some troublesome issues.

Well rounded with a creepy score and near perfect combination of scares, slaughter and subjects, Staying Scared gives it 3 1/2 creepy peeking clowns.

The second issue of Zombies is out and sports two collector covers. In it is both an interview with The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln, as well as an in depth overview of the characters of the show that include life or death scenarios for each.

But wait! There's More...

Other articles include Who Can You Trust (how to select the perfect survival party), a look at the new Dead Rising 3, a comparison between old and new flesh gobbling movies and the best 10 weapons for fending off the living dead.
Made For zombie fans, all 132 pages pertain to the undead, from ads to articles, from artwork to products, it is the premier magazine for those intending on being prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

Did I mention that Staying Scared has had nearly 30k hits? Thanks for the support fans. It won't be forgotten and there will be a stake for each and every one of you.

And so, until next time my gruesome fiendish friends...
Stay Scared,


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