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Booth's Blog: Welcome to the jungle
By Emily Booth, Thursday 23rd February 2017
It may be a tenuous one, but what is the link between Amber Heard and Chicago's Natural History museum? Come on, I know there must be some uber brainy quiz-loving horror nerds out there! Okay, so Amber Heard starred in the remake of And Soon the Darkness (2010), set in the depths of South America, and Chicago's Natural History Museum plays host to a mythological monster of Brazilian origin in the superb creature feature The Relic (1997). So of course the link is South America! Ta daa! This leads me very conveniently into my appraisal of this weekend's movie premieres, all with a South American kick.

First up, the Network Premiere of The Relic this Friday at 9pm. Fans of proper creature FX and animatronics will be in 7th heaven here, as the monster in question really is quite terrifying and brilliantly designed; which is no surprise, considering the man at the helm of the Special Effects is Stan Winston, who was hot off projects such as Jurassic Park, Aliens and Predator at the time. Story-wise, it's dramatic to say the least! An anthropologist goes missing in Brazil, but not before he sends mysterious crates back to the Chicago Natural History Museum via a transport ship where all the crew are found dead with their heads ripped off! Inside the crates are a few leaves and a strange 'relic'. On studying the leaves and finding a weird mutant beetle, evolutionary biologist Dr. Margo Green discovers that something came back in those crates from Brazil; an ever-evolving, mythical Chimera known as the Kothoga, who's part lizard, part insect, and part, ummm... lion?! In the same vein as Jaws, this monster is now roaming the museum corridors on the eve of a major gala event, making for plenty of yummy human brains to feast upon. You see, this creature craves the human hypothalamus, which apparently allows it to evolve and alarmingly provides it with human DNA... Good creature features are always fun to watch, and fans of Aliens will definitely pick up on some direct scene stealers! Especially that classic Ripley/Alien moment when the creature reveals a long, slippery, forked tongue, and proceeds to slowly lick the face of its female victim, savouring the lust before the kill...

Staying with the South American flavour comes the Network Premiere of And Soon the Darkness on Sunday at 9pm. Joining the ranks of Hostel, Paradise Lost, and A Perfect Getaway, holiday horror is incredibly effective in playing havoc with our sense of safety and security, where familiarity goes out the window and lawlessness runs riot. Yes it seems we all think we can bend the rules and take risks while on holiday - something that proves to be the downfall of the film's two heroines...

A remake of the English 1970's chiller originally set in France, this time Amber Heard and Odette Yustman go on a cycling adventure through Argentina, a place where the dramatic beautiful landscape soon sours when its dark underbelly is revealed. After the girls separate due to a minor squabble, Ellie (Yustman) goes missing, and it's up to her friend Stephanie (Heard) to investigate as suddenly the locals seems to be acting strangely vague and unhelpful. Did the pervy guy she met at the bar take her? Or maybe the people who run the guest house? Or even the cops who seem just a little too relaxed about the whole sorry affair? To say any more would spoil the reveal as to what's really going on, so tune in on Sunday at 9pm to find out!


Related show tags: AND SOON THE DARKNESS, THE RELIC
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