This week on another exciting episode of Dark Fringe Radio, Jay and I have a little debate in regards to Disney and some of the more darker subliminal messages that involve some of their projects. Of course our “As the World Burns” segment and not to forget a truly spectacular “What the F Florida Man” and two great shows that Jay will recommend for “What to Watch”. All that and so much more!!!! Available on all streaming sites such as iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartradio, and YouTube!!!
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In the episode, Michael Orfe recalls travelling down an unpaved road as a South Jersey high school student with his date, a girl named Violet. Suddenly, he remembers, Violet spotted something unusual coming toward them.
“I get chills every time I see it,” Orfe says, holding a sketch of what he believes to be the Jersey Devil. “I hid it [the sketch] away from my children at home when they were little.”
The backstory of the Jersey Devil is as varied as the number of people who claim to have encountered it. For more than 250 years, tales have circulated about the creature from The Pine Barrens, whose origins allegedly can be traced back to a monstrous local birth.
Orfe, now an educator in New Jersey, recalls rolling down the window of his father’s car when he sensed that “there was something out in the woods, in the pines.
“I felt cocky and comfortable about being in the Pine Barrens, but I shouldn’t have,” he tells host Kacie McDowell. “There was a hand coming through the window, and that hand was big. It had sharp nails .”
“We heard a rustling and there was definitely something out in the woods. Suddenly, Violet opened her eyes and mouth wide and she started pointing to the window because there was a hand coming through the window. And that hand was big, it had sharp — almost like a claw, sharp nails coming right at Violet’s head.”
Orfe’s immediate reaction was “to roll the window up,” he says.
“I caught the arm in the window and blood spurted out, on her face, and on me,” recalls Orfe. ” I tried to start the car, she’s screaming … I got the car started and I tried to put it in what I thought was reverse but it was actually going forward, at the same moment that he had leaped on the front of my father’s car, picked up his right arm, and shattered the windshield.”
Orfe adds that the creature finally “tumbled off” the car after he put the vehicle in reverse, allowing the teenagers a narrow escape from an experience that continues to haunt them more than six decades later.
Obvious statement incoming: 2020 is one giant mess of a year. Nothing about it is normal, including the release slate. The pandemic threw a major wrench in the theatrical lineup, among countless other things, and much of the year’s most anticipated titles got bounced to next year and beyond. Digital, VOD, and streaming services became the heroes of 2020’s horror, as they went into overdrive to ensure horror fans were kept busy these past several months.
Truly, the amount of new horror that came our way despite all the postponements is staggering. Just look at October alone, where Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, HBO Max, and VOD dropped an onslaught of titles to make for the busiest release month possibly of all time. So much so that it’s easy to lose track. Horror lives and dies by word of mouth, and this insanely packed schedule makes it all the harder to keep great horror at the forefront of the conversation.
If the sheer volume of releases overwhelms you, or you’re simply looking to dig in a little further beyond the big releases, we’ve got you covered.
Here are ten great recent 2020 releases you might have missed.
This surprising festival crowd-pleaser hit Shudder this summer to bring croc insanity to the masses. Our own Trace Thurman adored it, saying out of Fantastic Fest last year, “It knows what viewers are expecting and playfully toys with those expectations, stringing them along on a roller coaster of fun.” The Pool follows dog trainer Day (Theeradej Wongpuapan), who decides to relax at the Olympic sized pool with his dog Lucky after completing a photoshoot. He falls asleep, unaware that a crew member flipped the switch to drain the pool before leaving. Day wakes up trapped, and his problems are compounded when a crocodile gets trapped with him. It’s every bit as insane as it sounds. There’s a lot of suspense to match the laughs but be warned: an extended scene involves an animal death. It’s played with the darkest of dark humor.
This Netflix original, released in the first half of the year, centers around a strange, vertical prison facility with one cell per floor and two inmates per cell. Every day, food is lowered through the levels via a platform, with the inmates only allowed to eat whatever is left on the platform for a fixed period. Every month, the inmates are randomly reassigned to a new floor. Those at the top level feast in luxury while those many floors down starve, or worse. There’s no subtlety to this film’s overt metaphor, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Things get brutal and repulsive. It’s a major highlight of 2020 horror.
This horror-comedy gem quietly dropped on Prime Video on August 28, which is a shame because it’s also a fantastic crowd-pleaser. Ninian Doff’s feature debut defies easy classification, blending a coming-of-age comedy with a survival thriller. It’s violent, hallucinogenic, and downright hysterical. A bumbling foursome of delinquent teens, Dean (Rian Gordon), Duncan (Lewis Gribben), and DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja), and homeschooled loner Ian (Samuel Bottomley), embark on a trek across the Highlands for an award, yet find themselves dealing with the locals. Some want to party, and others are determined to hunt them down for sport. This innovative little feature will worm its way into your heart and leave you grinning from ear to ear.
The Witch: Part 1- Subversion
Another quiet Netflix release after an equally quiet time on VOD, this South Korean thriller brings a new spin on the superpowered action film. Ja-yoon is a well-adjusted high school student with loving parents and a talent for singing. The only catch is that the teen can’t remember a thing about her past. She’ll have to uncover those lost memories if she hopes to save those she loves when dangerous people from her childhood come to collect. These people, like Ja-yoon, have unique abilities, like telekinesis. It’s a visceral action-thriller unafraid to get bloody, written, and directed by Hoon-jung Park, the screenwriter behind the excellent and disturbing I Saw the Devil.
The latest by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless, Spring) centers around New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan). The pair are called to a series of gruesome and bizarre accidents that prove to be linked to a new psychedelic drug, one that hits close to home when Dennis’s daughter goes missing. In his determination to find her, Steve gets drawn into the mystery in which everything he knows about reality- including time and space- changes. It’s a mind-bending sci-fi mystery with every bit of the elegance, emotional heft, and ingenuity you’d expect from the filmmakers. Synchronic released in theaters only on October 23, which is why it slipped under the radar- the filmmakers urged fans to wait for a VOD release, which is still on the way.
Holly (Azura Skye) is a woman on edge, barely holding it together as life’s stressors continue to build. Her husband Rob (Bryce Pinkham) can’t land his promotion and rarely spends time at home. Her kids can’t stop fighting and ignore her. She’s tormented by a mouse loose in her home. Then there’s her high school student with a major crush on her. Once her sister pops back in her life, wielding her emotional baggage like a weapon, Holly unravels. Played like an eerie horror movie, Skye delivers a compelling performance as a woman suffering a breakdown while no one around her seems aware. With an unreliable narrator where reality isn’t entirely as it seems, Holly’s downward spiral builds toward a potent finale.
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula
Between surprise hit Train to Busan and its animated prequel Seoul Station, director Yeon Sang-Ho proved the zombie apocalypse remains fertile ground for thrills, social commentary, and emotional depth. Now available on digital, his latest takes this franchise in yet another new direction, going full-throttle on the Max Mad style Blockbuster action spectacle. Four years after the initial zombie outbreak, the overrun Korean peninsula is closed off to the world to prevent spread. A Hong Kong crime boss sends a group of mercenaries back in to retrieve a stash of money, and the group discovers they’ll have to deal with survivors as well as the zombies. While not as emotionally hard-hitting as its predecessor, Sang-Ho continues to prove a master of world-building and delivers a thrilling and fun entry in action-horror.
Attack of the Demons
Set around Halloween in 1994, Barrington, Colorado is kicking off its annual music festival, drawing in attendees from out of town. After centuries of planning, a demonic cult uses the headlining band as ground zero to unleash a horde of mutating demons in their plot to destroy humankind. It’s up to a trio of non-demon hunters to thwart the demon apocalypse. Director Eric Power infuses a plethora of genre influences into a charming comedic tale told through his painstaking process of cut paper stop-motion animation. The animated film wears its horror influences on its sleeve and then some, but the art style and lighthearted humor mean it’s accessible for all ages. It’s a Saturday morning cartoon type of horror, and it’s available on digital now from Dark Star Pictures.
His House follows husband-and-wife Sudanese refugees Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku). They’ve fled their war-torn village, crossed the ocean, survived a degrading stint in a U.K. detention facility, and have been finally granted an opportunity for housing in their new country. That opportunity comes in the form of a large yet dingy apartment, full of roaches and rot, in an unfriendly neighborhood where they seem to be the only immigrants. Almost immediately, it becomes clear that Bol and Rial don’t just face hostility outside the walls of their new home, but inside as well. Each night brings visceral terrors, as evil may have followed them over from their old country. Writer/director Remi Weekes’ feature debut delivers the scares in this Netflix release. It helps that Bol and Rial are tormented by a witch, played by genre stalwart and creature actor Javier Botet.
Anything for Jackson (Coming to Shudder on December 3)
With nearly all horror-comedies, the movies tend to emphasize one over the other. Many horror-comedies forget the scares entirely. That’s not the case with director Justin G. Dyck’s Anything for Jackson. His feature offers dark comedy in the form of a grieving older couple desperate to resurrect their grandson by kidnapping a pregnant woman to perform a Satanic ritual. It’s quickly apparent that the couple is in over their heads, often in a comedic way, as they stumble through dark arts of which they know nothing. Yet, the further they get into their rituals, the more their house becomes inundated with restless spirits, some of which mean harm. Anything for Jackson explores grief in an exciting new way, full of unsettling moments and some incredibly effective ghost designs. It’s spooky and funny and shouldn’t be missed when it arrives on Shudder soon.
Bonus: Memories of Murder
Thanks to Parasite‘s massive success earlier this year, Bong Joon-Ho’s long-unavailable 2003 masterpiece got a small theatrical and subsequent VOD release in preparation for its shiny upcoming Criterion disc. For fans of Joon-ho, Parasite, and true crime thrillers, Memories of Murder is an absolute must. Set in a small Korean province in 1986, two clashing detectives struggle to catch a serial rapist and murderer. Like the director’s Oscar-winning feature, Memories of Murder blends drama, mystery, thriller, and real crime, making it less easy to categorize. It does include a few harrowing moments of horror, featuring women getting stalked and hunted like prey. The film is loosely based on Korea’s first serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. Those crimes went unsolved until September of last year, in which new DNA evidence linked convicted killer Lee Chun-jae to the crimes. A month later, it was reported that he confessed to killing 14 people and raping more than 30 women. It casts Memories of Murder in a new, intriguing light.
People who are prone to high levels of absorption in mental tasks and activities are more likely to claim to be able to ‘hear the dead’, a new study has revealed. Scientists have uncovered the key trait in ‘clairaudient spiritualist mediums’ who claim to able to hear the voices of dead people.
Their results suggest that people who are prone to immersive mental activities, as well as those who were exposed to an ‘unusual auditory experience’ in early life, are more likely to claim to be able to communicate with the deceased. The team hopes the findings will help to understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices.
In the study, researchers from Durham University conducted a survey of 65 mediums from the Spiritualists’ National Union. Over 44 per cent of the participants reported hearing voices of the dead on a daily basis, while 33.8 per cent said they’d heard a voice within the last day. While spirits were mainly heard inside the head, 31.7 per cent said they experienced the voices coming from both inside and outside the head.
To understand the key traits of these mediums, the researchers surveyed 143 members of the general public for comparison. The results revealed that the mediums were more likely to immerse themselves in mental or imaginative activities, or experience altered states of consciousness. Mediums were also more likely to report hearing voices in early life.
Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Adam Powell from Durham University’s Hearing the Voice project and Department of Theology and Religion and lead author of the study, explained: ‘Some recall seeing and hearing a deceased loved one in their own home, often in their bedroom at night. ‘Others recall having conversations with invisible others from as early as they can remember.’
Spiritualists reported first hearing the dead at an average age of 21.7 years. However, 18 per cent of spiritualists reported having hearing voices ‘for as long as they could remember’. Dr Powell said: ‘Our findings say a lot about “learning and yearning”. ‘For our participants, the tenets of Spiritualism seem to make sense of both extraordinary childhood experiences as well as the frequent auditory phenomena they experience as practicing mediums.
‘But all of those experiences may result more from having certain tendencies or early abilities than from simply believing in the possibility of contacting the dead if one tries hard enough.’ While members of the public with high absorption rates were more likely to believe in the paranormal, the team found no significant link between belief and proneness to hallucinations.
Overall, the findings indicate that some people may be uniquely predisposed to absorption, and are more likely to report hearing the dead. Dr Peter Moseley, co-author on the study at Northumbria University, said: ‘Spiritualists tend to report unusual auditory experiences which are positive, start early in life and which they are often then able to control. ‘Understanding how these develop is important because it could help us understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices too.’
An anomaly hunter searching for strange and unusual objects on the surface of Mars stumbled upon an image that appears to show the head of a statue sitting in the sands of the Red Planet. Indefatigable researcher Scott C. Waring made the curious find while looking at NASA images posted to the photo-sharing site Gigapan earlier this week. It had been uploaded by a user named ‘lightworkx4’ with the caption “NASA Picture shows statues” back in 2015 and seems to have largely gone unnoticed until now.
Postulating that the anomaly was a carving of a head, possibly once belonging to a larger statue, Waring marveled at his website that “the ear, nose, eye, and forehead all have great detail.” Noting the location of the oddity on the side of a hill, he theorized that it may have meant to depict some kind of Martian god “overlooking a long distance from the top of the hill to watch over everyone.” Alas, Waring observed, “it looks like it has fallen due to time, earthquakes and wind.”
As to the significance of finding what appears to be the depiction of a face on Mars, the anomaly hunter argued that it provides us with insight into “who they were, what they looked like, who they admired, if there is male/female of the species … and much more.” Skeptics, of course, say that is not the case at all and that, in fact, the ‘statue head’ is actually just a rock made to look more fantastic thanks to the phenomenon of pareidolia.
This week we interview author Jim Schmidt regarding his book “The Way Of Existence”. It’s a very interesting book that was constructed by past life regression sessions that gives a unique look into the past but more importantly the future. Of course, we have our popular segments such as “As The World Burns” “What The F Florida Man” and “What To Watch”
This week we discuss Tulpa’s the thought-form. An interesting look inside the belief that we can manifest actual entities that take on a mind of their own. Not to mention What the F Florida Man, we talk about the solved mystery of the monoliths and Donald Trump and UFO’s……
On our latest episode we discuss the interesting case of Charles Wetzel and the Riverside Monster!!! We also talk about the Utah Monolith and the news of the start of talks of a new Nightmare on Elm Street film. Of course, we also have the What the F Florida man segment and so much more!!!!
This week we adventure into the world of cursed items again to discuss James Dean’s Cursed Porsche, The Lady Be Good, and Eastern Airlines Flight 401. Don’t forget our segments “As the World Burns”, “What The F Florida Man”, and “What to Watch.