Checking into Horror Hotel

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The casting news is coming thick and fast now for American Horror Story: Hotel.

Jessica Lange has confirmed what most of us already knew; that she won’t be returning in any guise for the Fox series’ 5th run.

This should of course be seen as an opportunity for the likes of Sarah Poulson, Kathy Bates or even the rumoured Michelle Pfeiffer taking the leading lady role.

Perhaps Lady GaGa can step up?

While the female casting may be missing one significant face, the male casting is adding some considerable quality in the form of Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart, Magic Mike and White Collar).

Bomer appeared in Freakshow meeting a horrific end at the hands of Dandy (Finn Wittrock also returning).

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Also confirmed is Ryan Murphy alumni Cheyenne Jackson as well as Wes Bentley, who also appeared last season.

Evan Peters is also back, and here’s hoping the show gets back on track after an uneven 4th run with Freakshow being a disjointed effort at best.

American Horror Story: Hotel debuts this fall on Fox.

Follow You Follow Me

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It’s quite a usual tagline for the horror genre; ‘The scariest film in years….’, and few of them live up to this billing.

Enter the latest film to take this crown, ‘It Follows'; luckily it completely hits the spot and is genuinely terrifying.

The premise on first glance is questionable with a killer presence passed on to lovers after sex; which doesn’t stop until it kills you.

So sex does in fact = death in the horror genre.

What I forgot to mention is how stylishly ‘It Follows’ wears its genre badges on its sleeve with pride with frequent nods to Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street, with its German expressionist style and haunting and intense music.

Maika Monroe who shone in her recent turn in the very entertaining The Guest, also steals the show with a great portrayal of our heroine who is resourceful and even a little flawed at times.

It’s impossible to go into too much detail about ‘It Follows’ without spoiling its twists, but safe to say if you do see it, it will certainly leave its mark on you.

Hopefully this won’t be the only outstanding horror film of 2015, over to you Hollywood.

Haus of Horrors

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First news on American Horror Story’s fifth season has broke today; with the news that Lady Gaga will star in the show.

You could say in many ways that this is a perfect fit given some of her bizarre music videos (see Alejandro) and erratic dress sense (meat dress anyone?).

This will be the first series without Jessica Lange after she stated that Freakshow would be her final appearance and although it was a very disjointed series many loyal fans will be sad to see the last of Lange headlining the anthology series.

American Horror Story: Hotel looks to be set around a set of characters maybe going down the route of Psycho/Bates Motel running a Hotel somewhere. No other details have been forthcoming at this stage, just that the series will debut this fall on FX.

From a personal point of view I would definitely like to see the return of Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe (in a bigger role) and Finn Wittrock who was the best thing about Freakshow as the twisted Dandy.

In terms of outgoing personnel, I think Angela Bassett and Denis O’Hare weren’t really used to their full potential last series and wouldn’t be overtly concerned if they didn’t return.

Here’s Gaga announcing her appearance on American Horror Story: Hotel –

Get Ready for Grodd!

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So a couple of episodes ago of The Flash we had post-credit sequence featuring the notorious Gorilla Grodd.

Now I have to admit I am not as savvy on the comic book world as others, but I have since been told that he is in fact a psychic gorilla; only on the CW!

The thing that The Flash did state from the get-go was that it would be faithful to its comic book origins and this certainly looks to continue with Grodd’s introduction.

Is Grodd smarter than the mysterious Harrison Wells, who we now know is the Reverse Flash? Only time will tell.

One thing is for sure; from this clip Grodd takes no prisoners…..

A Detective’s Second Calling

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Even though I was a late comer to the party, it’s fair to say I agree with the universal consensus that True Detective was the finest show on TV in 2014.

Sure it had the might and budget of HBO behind it, but the 8 episode arc became a fascinating story which left you engrossed almost until the last reel.

Season 2 will also feature an entirely new cast with some big shoes to fill.

Enter the much-maligned but occasionally brilliant Colin Farrell, who will be joined by Vince Vaughn (an interesting casting choice) and the very talented Taylor Kitsch (of Friday Night Lights fame).

The great news is that Nic Pizzolatto who wrote the entire first season will return again, but Cary Fukunaga is only Executive Producer this time round having secured the sizeable task of the remake of Stephen King’s IT.

Pizzolatto’s plot this time will centre around an occult history with the transportation system in America, so again complex but hopefully compelling also.

One of the telling factors of Season 1 was catching Matthew McCaughney at possibly the height of his power, coupled with Woody Harrelson on superb form. Can this be replicated by Farrell, Vaughn and Kitsch? Only time will tell.

Safe to say if it even comes close to hitting the heights of its first run, True Detective will once again become essential viewing.

Calling Cordell

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We really have been spoilt over the past few weeks, since it was announced that the third season of Hannibal will debut this summer.

The most fresh casting news is that Glenn Fleshler will appear as Mason Verger’s twisted personal physician Cordell.

His face will certainly be familiar to many as the terrifying killer from True Detective; one of the finest shows of last year.

It seems like truly inspired casting once again from the creative team, adding a face that can really blend into this twisted new world of Hannibal Lecter. Expect him to play a larger role than in the Ridley Scott film, and have much more influence on Mason’s already twisted mind.

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This adds to Rutina Wesley (of True Blood notoriety) coming on board as Reba McClane, the love interest of one Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage).

Joe Anderson has also been keen to show off his new role as the re-cast Verger with his new face (pictured below)

B7g4PDEIAAAZlpDHannibal Season 3 premieres this summer.

Is The Truth Still Out There?

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During the recent TCA press tour executives at FOX gave the strange news that they are looking to revive the cult classic ‘The X Files’ 13 years after it ended.

Clearly inspired by the comeback of Twin Peaks (a show the X Files paid homage to often enough) which is set to air its third season in 2016, FOX thinks its time to get Mulder and Scully back together.

At the height of its fame, the show was the biggest show on television producing five seasons of excellent science fiction mixed with horror.

Sadly after the 1998 feature film ‘Fight the Future’ the show never really recovered its former glory with both Mulder and Scully leaving the show for notable periods of time, the show lost its spark.

By the time long gestated finale ‘The Truth’ aired in 2002, the show had seemingly ran its creative juices dry; with the date set for the alien invasion and the majority of loose ends tied up the show went out on a moderate high.

David Duchovny has expressed an interest in returning for a limited run of the show, with Gillian Anderson once again hot property with her turns on The Fall and Hannibal maybe now is the time to re-introduce essentially a new generation to Mulder and Scully.

Like Lynch’s return to Twin Peaks, The X Files definitely would need Chris Carter back at the helm and a fresh story that could essentially wipe the slate clean and give us a whole new mythology to ponder over (maybe not for 9 years or so this time though).

I would definitely say I’m intrigued by news of the X Files return, but like Scully on the show it is with a degree of skepticism that I take the news.

Here’s a featurette from my favourite episode The Host from Season 2: