CS Recommends: Magic the Gathering: Shadows Over Innistrad & More!
Stuck inside? Don’t know what to watch/read/play/listen to? ComingSoon.net has got you covered. In this week’s CS Recommends our staff kicks off gives you solid tips on the best media to consume during your downtime, including Magic the Gathering: Shadows Over Innistrad and more! Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Magic the Gathering: Shadows Over Innistrad
Those of you who are into the Magic the Gathering competitive card game are likely knee-deep in the latest release Zendikar Rising, but if you want a set that captures more of the Halloween spirit I recommend 2016’s Shadows Over Innistrad! For those not in the know, Innistrad is the MTG plane that’s oriented around Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, and all the ghoulish things that go bump in the night. The artwork in the 297 cards that make up the expansion block is spooky and atmospheric, with plenty of cool monsters to augment the more traditional fantasy elements. Shadows Over Innistrad also has a really cool feature of double-faced cards that allow you to transform normal-ish humans into werewolves and other demonic beings! The cards themselves are still widely available, so go ahead and get started with a Fat Pack, Gift Box, or Deckbuilder’s Toolkit!
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: The Collector (2009)
In The Collector, Josh Stewart plays Arkin, an ex-con who plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife. In a clever twist, during the late-night heist, Arkin finds himself trapped with a sadistic masked-killer who has also targeted the property and rigged it with a series of deadly traps meant for the unsuspecting family. Directed by Marcus Dunstan who co-wrote the screenplay with Patrick Melton, the movie contains Saw-levels of gore (so if that’s not your thing, steer clear) and undeniable tension that really kicks off when Arkin realizes that there is another intruder inside of the home. Besides Stewart’s convincing performance and a truly freaky madman, the intelligent cinematography is what will set your heart racing as the anxiety builds and an injured Arkin desperately attempts to stay one step ahead of The Collector, having to choose between finding an escape for himself from the house of terrors or sticking around the carnage in order to save the family.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: Host
Click here to watch or stream the movie on Shudder!
With all of us still trapped indoors right now and having to resort to virtual gatherings over Zoom, now is the ultimate time to see a story told through the lenses of webcams and Rob Savage’s Host not only delivers one of the most chilling and shocking examples of the ScreenLife genre, but also one of the most authentic. Centered on six friends meeting on Zoom for a séance that inadvertently invites an evil presence into their homes, the film was shot entirely during the COVID-19 quarantine and yet you wouldn’t be able to tell such a thing in any moment in the film as it all looks impressively made with studio experts rather than up-and-coming performers DIY-ing everything. With a runtime of just 56 minutes, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome nor allow its characters or story to become grating as other similar genre fares of the past and delivers near nonstop chills from start to finish.
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: Stay Alive
The film begins when Hutch finds out that his best friend Loomis was brutally murdered. During Loomis’ funeral, Hutch was able to receive some of his friend’s stuff, one of which was a mysterious horror video game that Loomis had played the night he died. He along with his other friends decided to play the game together where they find out that the game centers around an evil historical figure named Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was infamously known for bathing in young girls’ blood in order to keep her youth. Soon, they’ll realize that this is no ordinary game as players who get to be killed in the video game will also face the same exact fate as their characters. Now, they must find a way to survive and outsmart the game before time runs out.
This underrated 2006 film is definitely a good selection to start off this year’s Halloween month. Before taking on the surprise 2016 hit film The Boy, the film was William Brent Bell’s first-ever horror project as a writer and director. Interestingly, Stay Alive is also the only slasher-horror film that Disney has ever produced and released through their now-defunct film label, Hollywood Pictures.
Despite having a poor box office and critical performance, the film still featured terrifying and thrilling scenes that are engaging and entertaining. What I like the most about this film is that its main antagonist was so effective and sure as hell scary, especially when it was based on a real-life monster. Embarrassingly, this one actually truly scared me when I was kid which resulted in me still being cautious and fearful of reciting and even hearing weird creepy phrases or chants on games, books, movies, and TV shows. I personally think this film was ahead of its time with video games becoming more popular through the use of social media, it would have left an impact if it was released today instead of 14 years ago. If they ever tried to reboot Stay Alive, I think this would become successful, especially when games nowadays are becoming more and more realistic.
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: ParaNorman
ParaNorman arrived in theaters way back in 2012 boasting some incredible stop-motion animation. It drew praise from critics (89% of whom gave it a positive rating on RottenTomatoes), but ultimately flopped at the box office with just $107M worldwide. For a holiday as deprived of genuinely good films as Halloween, it’s a wonder ParaNorman didn’t strike more of a chord in the realm of pop culture. Even now, the film remains largely unchecked, which is a shame because it’s pretty damned great. In fact, of all the family-oriented flicks based around October 31st, ParaNorman is the one I’m most excited to watch each year thanks to its perfect blend of humor, horror, and genuine heart. The film is ambitious, well written, and features some truly awesome voice work from the likes of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Casey Affleck. Seriously, if you haven’t already, give ParaNorman a shot!
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