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Dr. Zaius’s Top 10 Horror Films Of 2016
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As a bonafide horror supergeek, 2016 was a phenomenal year. Aside from a collection of great films, horror has dominated TV and pop culture as well, with hit shows like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Scream Queens and Black Mirror. While horror fans are usually passionate about their genre, sometimes to a fault, a shocking thing happened this year. More than a few mainstream horror films received critical acclaim. Plus, between the countless streaming services out there, horror films are now more readily accessible than ever before. I was also privileged to attend two horror film festivals in New York, FEARnyc and the New York City Horror Film Festival, where I took in countless new independent feature-length and short horror films.

So, without further ado, I present my list of the Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016 (and some honorable mentions) below.

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Streaming Review: Hush
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Hush
Written by Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Starring Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emma Graves
Intrepid Pictures
Release Date: Friday, April 8th, 2016

If you’re a horror movie fan, you are constantly on the lookout for something of substance and quality. Sometimes, rarely, one of those films finds their way into the mainstream. Last year it was David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows that took horror fans by storm. Too often though, more than any other genre, horror gets bogged down in cash grab sequels, and pointless tone deaf remakes. When all the theatres can churn out are another Paranormal Activity or Purge film, fans must look to other places. Enter the wonderful streaming universe. This week, I was messaged on Facebook by a fellow horror-nut who recommended Hush, currently streaming on Netflix. When I looked it up and saw who the director was, I quickly grabbed for the remote.

Spoilers below.

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Video Premiere: Hellyeah “Hush” (Featuring My Son Jesse Bergen!)
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Hellyeah, the band featuring former members of Mudvayne and Pantera, has just released the official video for their new single “Hush” and it features the acting debut of none other than my own 12-year-old son Jesse Bergen. That’s right… that is my gorgeous boy playing a teenage version of Hellyeah singer Chad Gray in the video.

“Hush” is a song about the domestic violence that Gray faced at home as a child and features the chorus “Hell’s where I was born/Hell’s where I was raised/This hell is where I’m from/And this hell is where I’ll stay.” The band has lent use of the song to the No More organization, which works to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic abuse.

The official video for “Hush” addresses the issue of domestic violence through flashbacks to Gray’s younger years and the scenes that played out around his own situation. It’s pretty heavy stuff! Check it out here below.

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Batman 101: A Beginner’s Guide To The Dark Knight
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A lot of sites are probably putting together several lists right about now in honor of this Friday’s release of The Dark Knight Rises that would name most of these as “must-reads if you’re wanting to get into Batman comics,” or something to that effect. But how I’d like to phrase this entry is in more of an academic sense. These books that I’m about to suggest to you are being referred to as “Read these first” because a lot of the more “higher learning” readings require a sophisticated palette that must be developed by learning the different takes on the character of Batman prior to jumping shoulders’ deep into the complex and clever stories of these more advanced works.

Now, that’s not to say that any of the comics listed are bad. Sure I may not like some of them as much as others, but based on my research and personal experiences, the comics listed here in Batman 101 are some of the books that have gotten most hardcore Batman fans to start loving the character in the same way I do. Keep in mind that this is a list of comic books, so you’ll look elsewhere to see things like Batman ’66 and Batman: The Animated Series. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started with something I like to call Batman 101: A Beginner’s Guide To The Dark Knight.

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