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Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Zombie Thriller ‘Train to Busan’ on Apr. 19, 2017

Train to Busan

CHICAGO – The fourth season of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema series continues with a screening of the popular South Korean film “Train to Busan,” on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. “Busan,” directed by Yeon Sang-Ho, broke box office records in major Asian cities when it was first released last year. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film Review: ‘Get Out’ is Funny, Scary & Tells Us About Us

CHICAGO – When he got his chance, writer/director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele”) completely understood what he had to do – combine his skewered hilarity, love of horror movies and true social conscience, and put them all into one great movie. Ladies and germs, “Get Out.”

Slideshow: ‘Days of the Dead’ Convention in Chicagoland, Nov. 18-20, 2016

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Tara Reid of ‘American Pie’ series and ‘Sharknado’ series.

CHICAGO – The “Days of the Dead” convention is an annual event in Chicagoland and elsewhere, that brings together admirers of the horror film genre, cult movies enthusiasts, vendors and panel discussions related to it all. Several celebrities also attend the event, including Alice Cooper, Ric Flair, Judge Reinhold and Shannon Elizabeth. The 2016 convention is being held this weekend – Nov. 18-20 – at the Chicago Schaumburg Marriott in Schaumburg, Ill. (see details below).

Film Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’ is a Terrifying Sensory Experience

CHICAGO – The horror genre can be a complex creature. The great films can show you the difference between ‘horror’ and ‘terror’. Some horror is all shock and no substance, while terror can be all fear, but no shock. The difference between them is so nuanced that only a skilled director, like Fede Alvarez, can show you the difference in his latest film, “Don’t Breathe.”

Interview: Actor Stephen Lang, Director Fede Alvarez Advise You to ‘Don’t Breathe’

CHICAGO – The horror genre in film is always looking for a shot in the old fear factor, and the new release “Don’t Breathe” delivers that injection (heh-heh). The second film by director Fede Alvarez (“Evil Dead”) features character actor favorite Stephen Lang – he prefers “Slang.” The film opens nationwide on August 26th.

Entertainment News: Chandler Riggs of ‘The Walking Dead’ at Walker Stalker Con in Chicago From May 28-29, 2016

Chandler Riggs, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – It’s promoted as “for fans, by fans” and the Walker Stalker Con delivers the goods for those admirers of all things zombie, horror and cult based. The celebrities – including Chandler Riggs of AMC Network’s “The Walking Dead” – the exclusive talks/panels, the photo ops and the floor “walkers” themselves, will create an atmosphere of fun and dread at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., on Saturday and Sunday, May 28th and 29th, 2016.

Interview: Directors Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff Swing on ‘The Gallows’

CHICAGO – Horror films have many players, but few contenders. Writer/directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff debut with “The Gallows,” a “found footage” movie about a force that haunts a typical American high school, complete with familiar student types, and touches on the mysteries of unresolved events and their backlash.

Film Review: Gothic Originality in ‘We Are What We Are’

CHICAGO – Finding something truly original in the horror genre is rare. The most effective scare tactics are ones that touch the heart of our familiarity and psychosis. Re-imagining a Mexican film from 2010, director Jim Mickle gets right to the gothic heart of it all in “We Are What We Are.”

Interview: Director Jim Mickle of ‘We Are What We Are’

CHICAGO – One of the more unique horror film stories is in the upcoming release of “We Are What We Are,” a re-imagining of a 2010 Mexican film, co-written and directed by Jim Mickle. In moving the story to America, Mickle changes the mood of how the rituals transpire, and attaches those rituals to extreme religion.

Blu-Ray Review: Disappointing Return of ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

Paranormal Activity 2

CHICAGO – There’s something that horror movie producers never seem capable of understanding. A great horror movie is like watching a magic trick. It doesn’t work nearly as well the second time. The sequels to “Saw,” “The Blair Witch Project,” and now “Paranormal Activity,” are not that dissimilar from watching the same rabbit come out of the same hat with nothing much different than a new colored bandana around its neck. “Paranormal Activity 2” has moments but doesn’t amount to nearly the same overall experience as the first.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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