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Love abandoned asylums? Special features for DD’s SESSION 9 Ep #320

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What makes Session 9 truly remarkable is its location: the abandoned Danvers State Hospital, where the film was shot, becomes a character in itself. If you didn’t get the chance to urban explore the place when it was still a decaying wreck (which really wasn’t a great idea anyway since A, it was dangerous, and B, they were very hard on those who trespassed), watching Session 9 is probably the next-best thing.

That said, the history of the place is fascinating. Here are the links and videos I mentioned in the Dark Discussions episode on Session 9. And yes, I know I promised pix of me when I “urban explored” Fairfield Hills—an infamous abandoned asylum just fifteen minutes from my home—back in 2002. I put Read the rest of this entry

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Eight films with immersive abandoned settings

If you’ve been following me on any social media or have read some of my work, you know I have a thing for all things abandoned. On a recent Dark Discussions episode, we reviewed the 2001 film Session 9—it has some small issues, for sure, but you can’t beat the atmosphere; it was shot in the real former Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts, which today is home to luxury apartments (yes, really).

I decided it might be fun to pull together a list of my favorite movies that are set in abandoned locations. I didn’t include films that have one or two stunning scenes in such places—believe it or not, the animated love fest Happy Feet would rank high on that list, with its most disturbing scene playing out in an abandoned Antarctic whaling station—only films that are almost entirely set in them.

Please note: The only thing these films have been judged on is the quality of the abandoned setting. Check out your favorite review venue if you want more detail on the film’s other aspects before watching.

8 Abandoned Session9

David Caruso stands amidst the ruins in SESSION 9.

Session 9 (2001)

An asbestos cleaning crew takes on a big contract at a crumbling, abandoned asylum, not realizing that they’re going to get a lot more than they bargained for when they find cassettes of a patient’s hypnotherapy sessions. Many people consider this one of the most terrifying movies of all time, but I maintain it’s because of the claustrophobic setting. Shot at Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts (before it was gutted and became Bradlee Danvers Luxury Apartments—check it out here), this is a fine example of how setting is sometimes the biggest player in what makes a movie scary. Watch Session 9

8 Abandoned Ghost Ship

An abandoned state room in GHOST SHIP.

Ghost Ship (2002)

A salvage crew thinks they’ve hit the jackpot when they find a passenger liner that went missing forty years ago—one that had long been rumored to harbor massive treasure. But it also harbors something else: ghosts for sure, but I’m thinking more along the lines of splendid furnishings corroded by four decades worth of exposure to the salt air. For most of us, this is as close as we’ll ever get to exploring a derelict liner. The set is so ably rendered it’s easy to envision the grandeur that must’ve been. Watch Ghost Ship

8 Abandoned Reincarnation

Something’s amiss in the surprisingly bright abandoned resort in REINCARNATION.

Reincarnation (2005)

A filmmaker and his crew go to an abandoned hotel twenty years after Read the rest of this entry

DARK DISCUSSIONS pays tribute to George Romero

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Montage by Philip Perron

Dark Discussions pays tribute to George Romero in the wake of his passing. We discuss his life, his work, and the controversies that sometimes surrounded him, and some of our thoughts might surprise you! You can listen in on Stitcher, iTunes, and here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_297.html

DARK DISCUSSIONS delights in THE DEVIL’S CANDY

 

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The DD masthead for THE DEVIL’S CANDY. Montage by Phillip Perron.

Dark Discussions delights in the much-admired The Devil’s Candy — an interesting little indie horror film with religious undertones set near Austin, Texas, from the director of The Loved Ones. Hear what we have to say about the movie about a passionate painter who must sell out–and gets more than he bargained for. You can listen to our episode here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_285.html

 

DARK DISCUSSIONS explores KONG: SKULL ISLAND

KONG SKULL ISLAND STICK BUG

Seriously, this movie has the most fabulous monster porn ever. This giant stick bug rocks my world! I can’t wait to get the Blu-Ray so I can freeze-frame and check it out up close!

The DD crew explores the breathtaking, creepy jungles and marvelous monsters of Kong: Skull Island. 

You can download or listen to the episode here–although I do always forget to mention that you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher as well! http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_277.html

KONG SKULL ISLAND Mast_Episode277

The Dark Discussions Mast head for Episode 277 — KONG: SKULL ISLAND. Collage by Philip Perron.

DARK DISCUSSIONS on THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE; Corpse herself on SHADOW NATION

Autopsy Poster Art

Today is the Blu-Ray/DVD release date for the terrifying surprise hit The Autopsy of Jane Doe–if you saw this on VOD and loved it as much as I did, now’s the time to add it to your collection! Dark Discussions looks at symbols and more in the film on Episode 268, which you can listen to here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_268.html

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Masthead for Dark Discussions Episode 268: The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Collage by Philip Perron.

On Shadow Nation (formerly The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show), Shaun and Nathan kept a stiff upper lip as they interviewed the film’s corpse, played by Olwen Catherine Kelly. You can give that a listen here: http://shadownation.com/autopsy-jane-doe-olwen-catherine-kelly/

DARK DISCUSSIONS talks GET OUT

Mast_Episode275 - Get Out

The Masthead for Dark Discussions Episode 275. Collage by Phillip Perron.

Dark Discussions talks the surprise horror hit Get Out…which I’d personally Read the rest of this entry

DARK DISCUSSIONS gets classical with 1963’s JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS

Jason and the Argonauts Lobby Card

A little ways back, Dark Discussions ran a contest in its Facebook group — what movies from the past would listeners like to hear us cover? One of the winners (it was a tie) was 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts.

Since it seems like Hollywood has figured out (finally, and we’re not complaining!) that horror films do well in the winter months, we’ve had so many new releases to cover we haven’t had time to get to either of our winners. We got lucky when logistics hung us up for a week, so we decided a trip down memory lane (and into the dusty annals of our brains to see what we remember about the myths we read in high school) would be the perfect fill-in.

Jason - Talos Comes Alive

The best part of Jason, of course, is the fantastic monsters created by Ray Harryhausen. One of the images that haunted my childhood was Talos awakening.

You can listen to the episode here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_274.html

Mast_Episode274 Jason Argonauts

Dark Discussions Masthead for Episode 274. Photo collage by Philip Perron.

Dark Discussions looks forward to 2017!

Dark Discussions Ep 266 Masthead

The crew of Dark Discussions picks its most anticipated horror movies of 2017! Listen/download on ITunes, Stitcher, or here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_266.html

 

 

DARK DISCUSSIONS on THE CONJURING 2; resources for exploring the story behind the film

Conjuring2BlogArt

Nathan Schoonover (occult specialist, paranormal investigator, co-host of The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show and my husband) joined us on Dark Discussions for an in-depth look at The Conjuring 2. We had a total blast! We discuss Amityville, Ouija boards, the real Enfield Poltergeist, DBox (and if you don’t know what that is you’ll just have to check it out) and more!

You can listen through I-Tunes and Stitcher or you can simply download it right from the Dark Discussions website here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_238.html

Below, a very basic (I do mean VERY basic) list of resources in case you’re interested in exploring the real stories behind the film. This has already Read the rest of this entry

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