Independent Movie

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HNN Film Festival is accepting feature film submissions starting on June 8th, 2020 through Film Freeway.   HNN Film Festival is sponsored by and in association with Bayview Entertainment, the FIRST PRIZE winner will get a distribution deal to get their feature film released on the “HNN presents” distribution label.

HNN recognizes that the landscape of the entertainment business is changing as repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges we face social distancing in our theaters and festivals.   Therefore, the HNN Film Festival will completely be an “at home” experience.  

“HNN Film Festival seems like the natural progression of things. I’ve been involved in business of horror for over a decade, specifically supporting the efforts of independent filmmakers. I think we all strive to watch the perfect film and while some say that’s an impossible task, what’s enjoyable is the journey. The endless search to find the holy grail of movies, or by horror standards, the unholy grail. You know it’s a good film when you are sitting on the edge of your seat and experiencing the story along with the characters. You know it’s a great film when that feeling of excitement stays with you long after you stopped watching the movie.” –  HNN Manager, Michael Joy

For more information:

About HNN Presents:
We believe in horror. This is the genesis of a new era in how people consume entertainment and we are leading the charge to a revolution. As we stand at the forefront of the film industries rebirth, it’s our mission to establish the horror genre as the epicenter of the “at home” video experience.

About Bayview Entertainment:
BayView Entertainment, LLC, is a full service media company committed to acquire, develop, produce, market and distribute audio-visual content. For over fifteen years, BayView made its name by being dedicated to releasing only the best programs in each category from some of the most trusted names in the field.

BayView’s disc programming can be found throughout the country at all online suppliers plus fine brick & mortar retailers, as well as streaming/video on demand at all major digital retailers and platforms.

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Well it was only 2 days ago, after reviewing The Dinner Party. I was hyped over how versatile indepdent horror can be. Today I’ve come crashing down hard after being asked to watch/review 8 Graves. Unfortunately, it was a sobering reminder of just how cringe-worthy low budget horror flicks can be.

The storyline states; A college reunion in an old South Carolina house goes horribly wrong. Two vengeful spirits start to pick off the party goers one by one. The survivors have to choose whether to face up to their responsibilities or suffer the wrath of the ghosts.

Now, I know there are a number of restrictions that a lack of budget can bring; poor cgi, low quality camera/equipment, but poor acting doesn’t need to be one of them. The film opens with a title card stating “1865. The War Between The States Is Over. For Tens Of Thousands Now Without Sons, The Family Name Will Die. Unless a Male Child Can Be Found.” Okay, at this point I’m feeling it; nice opening, setting the scene. The filtered sequence gives it that old fashioned feeling That, as well as the dated garb of the couple on screen I’d say its a nice intro. Then the acting happens… oh dear.

Braxton Williams, Jennifer Olympia Bentley, and Andrea Catangay in 8 Graves (2020)

If that entire intro was cut then the film would be a lot better from the outset. But with the poor acting within the first 60 seconds the movie was a write-off before it even started. I’m pleased to say the acting did get slightly better in places and the storyline wasn’t too bad but it was still a massive let down. There was some believable interaction between the characters but the vast majority of the dialogue just felt awkward and corny with no authenticity at all.

Then there was the spirits. What on earth was going on there? I know I’ve mentioned the restrictions that a low budget can bring, but a good filmmaker should be aware of these. What they shouldn’t do is try to incorporate the basic resources they have into a movie which was already struggling. The spirits are depicted by a blue blur which is painful to watch. There is also a first person perspective adopted when the spirits are racing through the landscape which is a brazen knock off of The Evil Dead.

Overall, 8 Graves was a nice idea and the cinematography wasn’t too bad. Nothing special about the plot really but it could have been a lot better without the cringeworthy graphics. Some of the acting was better than others and I hope that the movie is just a learning curve for all involved. If anything, the trailer is probably the best bit. Check it out and decide for yourselves.

You can check out the IMDB page here

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The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart

If you were to go up to any horror fan today and ask them to reel off a list of horror influencers, who do you think would be mentioned first? King? Lovecraft? Maybe this generation of fans wouldn’t even mention literature. Perhaps the likes of Romero or Craven would precede all others?

Yet, the truth is most of the above names would probably never have been a horror icon if it wasn’t for the influencers of the 1800’s. Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and of course Edgar Allan Poe (among many others) sowed the seeds to what is now a rainforest of Amazonian proportions. Whilst some people may forget this, relying heavily on the influences of modern day pioneers, McClain Lindquist remains true to horror’s gothic roots.

Lindquist’s adaptation of ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ brings the story to life in just over 20 minutes. Staying true to Poe’s original prose, The Tell Tale Heart depicts The Narrator taking us through the dark realms of his psyche, all the while trying to convince us (and himself) that he is in fact sane.

I was initially intrigued as to how this visual portrayal would pan out. Would Lindquist stay true to the time period Poe originally perceived? Or would he give it a modern twist? The answer came within the first 20 seconds. Darkness, with only the fleeting conversation between a Police Officer and a Detective using current language. Modern day then? I’d say so… Until the words of the Police Officer conclude the dark sequence; “I hate the way he talks – It’s like an old movie.” Thus paving the way for The Narrator.

Depicted superbly by Sonny Grimsley, The Narrator’s prose, garb and mannerisms The Tell Tale Heartwouldn’t seem out of place on any theatrical stage. Lindquist successfully amalgamates the two time periods into one as we are taken on a journey through The Narrator’s dwindling grasp of reality. Whilst fans of Poe can be satisfied the depiction pays homage to the original, fans who have never read The Tell Tale Heart can also enjoy the traditional elements of horror throughout.

The movie contains shock, gore, suspense and most importantly it immerses the audience. We don’t just observe The Narrator’s descent into madness, we’re dragged into the abyss with him!

Alongside the great acting and directing, I feel I also need to pay tribute to the great SFX appearing throughout the movie. As you know, indie horror tends to be done on a budget, and as such we’re The Tell Tale Heartoften treated to some cringe-worthy special effects.  Yet those within The Tell Tale Heart are pretty impressive. There’s a vast amount of blood, gore and visual effects, not to mention the makeup/prosthetics used in transforming James C Morris into the old man. The SFX team have excelled and definintely need some recognition alongside everyone else involved in putting together this great short movie.

If you want to find out more or keep up to date with The Tell Tale Heart, you can connect on the links below.

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