Become a Detective in THE SINKING CITY’s Lovecraftian World

Frogwares has released a new video for their upcoming horror investigative adventure The Sinking City, which will be hitting PC and consoles later this year. The video, which you can watch above, dives into the mechanics of the game, specifically when it comes to using the main character’s sleuthing abilities so as to solve mysteries and crimes. Fans of Frogwares’ Sherlock games will see something that will almost certainly make them very happy!

Tortured by his past and otherworldly visions, Charles W. Reed, a private investigator finds himself in Oakmont, Massachusetts, seeking salvation from the creeping insanity that afflicts him. Once a trade harbor, known for its lucrative smuggling business, Oakmont now lives in secluded isolation from the rest of the world, under a flood of supernatural origins. In this place of decay and superstition; players will have to deal with the dregs of mankind, follow clues they wish they had never found, and unveil a cosmic horror threatening the world itself.

We’ve been covering The Sinking City for a while now and it’s still up there as one of our most anticipated games of the year. If you want to see something really creepy and cool, check out these photos of sculptures used by the dev team for inspiration that we premiered last year.

The post Become a Detective in THE SINKING CITY’s Lovecraftian World appeared first on Dread Central.

Ambitious VR Project Restores 1964 Tokyo With Real Images

Ambitious VR Project Restores 1964 Tokyo With Real Images

The absence of Terminators in 2019 means VR is probably the closest we’re going to get to time travel. But how do we ensure trips to our past are as accurate as possible? NHK Enterprises (NEP) and Rhizomatiks have one idea.

The pair this week announced a new project set to showcase at SXSW next month. Simply named The Time Machine, it will allow audiences to travel back to 1964 Tokyo. Crucially, the Japanese capital has been recreated not through interpretation but by using actual pictures of the city taken from that year. The aim is to provide photo-accurate 3D renditions of sites around Tokyo. Check out the trailer below.

We’ve seen this process, named photogrammetry, used in VR before. It’s being utilized to preserve historic artifacts, for example. But this is the first time we’ll have seen images from the past used to allow people to step back in time. That means that the world you see will be in black and white.

Using an HTC Vive, viewers will find themselves standing at the iconic Shibuya Scramble Intersection in the present day. They’ll then travel back to 1964, visiting sites like Hachiko statue at Shibuya’s JR Train Station, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo Cultural Center) and Miyamasu-zaka Hill.

Produced by Toshio Tsuchiya, the piece is a part of celebrations leading up to Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics. The games were last held in Tokyo in, you guessed it, 1964.

The Time Machine will be up and running from March 10th – 13th at the Austin Convention Center.

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Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Honor ‘Hereditary’, ‘Mandy’, and ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

Fangoria Chainsaw Awards

As the Oscars were Oscar-ing last night, a beloved genre magazine was holding its own awards show: The Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Fangoria readers voted on winners in categories like Best Kill and Best Makeup Effects as well as more traditional categories celebrating aspects of filmmaking like directing and acting, and Ari Aster‘s arthouse horror film Hereditary and Panos Cosmatos‘s gonzo, one-of-a-kind revenge movie Mandy ended up winning the top prizes. If you’re looking to wash the taste of the Oscars out of your mouth with something more adventurous, look no further.

Check out the full list of winners below.

Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2019

The genre magazine released all of the winners through its Twitter account last night, and both Hereditary and Mandy (which each earned a spot on /Film’s collective Top 10 Movies of 2018 list) ended up having very good nights after being snubbed at the Academy Awards. Here are all of the winners:

Best Director: Ari Aster, Hereditary
Best Screenplay: Ari Aster, Hereditary
Best Actress: Toni Collette, Hereditary
Best Actor: Nicolas Cage, Mandy
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Suspiria
Best Supporting Actor: Alex Wolff, Hereditary
Best Kill: Charlie Meets Telephone Pole, Hereditary
Best Wide-Release Movie: Hereditary
Best Limited-Release Movie: Mandy
Best Foreign Language Movie: Terrified
Best Score: Jóhann Jóhannson, Mandy
Best Makeup FX: Mark Coulier, Suspiria
Best Creature FX: Sierra Russell and Josh Russell, The Ritual
Best First Feature: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, Ghost Stories
Best Series: The Haunting of Hill House

If you had fun watching the Oscars, you’re certainly not alone – ratings were up from last year, and I largely enjoyed the experience of watching them myself. But for those who were yearning for smaller, more audacious movies to be rewarded for their excellence, this serves as a nice palette cleanser to a ceremony that gave Green Book their top prize.

Hereditary and Mandy are two of 2018’s most bold, stylish, resonant pieces of filmmaking, and as much as I loved Olivia Colman’s free-wheeling Oscars acceptance speech, any organization that awards Toni Collette’s jaw-dropping performance – which I consider to be the best piece of acting in any movie of the year, regardless of gender – has my attention and respect.

Still, even this awards show wasn’t without its own blunder: after all, the Fangoria audience did inexplicably vote for Bird Box in the Best Streaming Movie Premiere category. Bummer – and they were so close to perfection.

Thank you @FANGORIA and everyone who voted for the six Chainsaw Awards that “Hereditary” received tonight! https://t.co/tnfMpCjgXJ

— Ari Aster (@AriAster) February 25, 2019

This made our night, thank you Fangoria https://t.co/AunppCDdrf

— ???????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??????? (@suspiriamovie) February 25, 2019

Well this is beyond awesome… thanks @FANGORIA and everyone who voted!!!!! #chainsawawards https://t.co/NGk7f9hL9h

— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) February 25, 2019

The post Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Honor ‘Hereditary’, ‘Mandy’, and ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ appeared first on /Film.

Bigscreen Patches Potential Hack That Could Have Spelled Disaster for the Platform

A team of researchers at the University of New Haven recently uncovered an exploit that could mean a serious security threat to apps built on the Unity game engine. Bigscreen Beta, the Unity-based social VR platform that lets you stream you monitor to others and chat in virtual reality, was particularly vulnerable before being patched last week.

Bigscreen founder and CEO Darshan Shankar says the exploit was “reported to us and has been fixed already” and that it was “not exploited by hackers, and no one is currently vulnerable to this issue. It is fixed.”

The security patch was also publicly noted in the app’s most recent update log, among which included a number of new features such as real-time raytracing lighting effects, new environments, new avatars, and new user interface.

Before the vulnerability was patched in a recent Bigscreen Beta update, University of New Haven researchers were able to accomplish a dizzying list of bad deeds using their own ‘command and control’ tool in effort to not only render the platform unsafe for private conversation, but also potentially infect computers with any type of malware by using Unity’s OpenURL command.

Unity has since issued a warning to developers who use the OpenURL command in their games, saying “you must be extremely careful that you do not provide a string to this function which could possibly be maliciously crafted or modified by a 3rd party.”

The researchers say in a news update that without a user’s knowledge and consent—and even without tricking users into downloading software or granting access to the computer—they were able to:

  • Turn on user microphones and listen to private conversations
  • Join any VR room including private rooms
  • Create a replicating worm that infects users as soon as they enter a room with other VR users
  • View user computer screens in real-time
  • Send messages on a user’s behalf
  • Download and run programs – including malware – onto user computers
  • Join users in VR while remaining invisible. This novel attack was termed as a Man-In-The-Room (MITR) attack
  • Phish users into downloading fake VR drivers

“Our research shows hackers are able to monitor people day in and day out – listen to what they are saying and see how they are interacting in virtual reality,” said Dr. Ibrahim Baggili, founder and co-director of the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group. “They can’t see you, they can’t hear you, but the hacker can hear and see them, like an invisible Peeping Tom. A different layer of privacy has been invaded.”

The team also created a video showing just what deleterious effects the exploit could have wrought on users if they didn’t find it and report it first.

Thankfully, what could have been a disaster for the platform’s users, which use the app both as a virtual desktop and shared viewing platform, was averted before any harm could be done.

“Working alongside security researchers and our internal security & QA practices will help us stay ahead of malicious hackers,” Shankar told Road to VR.

The post Bigscreen Patches Potential Hack That Could Have Spelled Disaster for the Platform appeared first on Road to VR.

Google expands AI-powered grammar checker in Docs to all G Suite users

Google today announced that its artificial intelligence-powered grammar checker will now be a native feature in Google Docs for all users of G Suite, its corporate suite of web tools and services. The grammar checker, which Google announced last July, is powered by machine translation, which is the same subset of AI tools that enable software’s natural language processing capabilities and the ability to translate text from one language into another.

At the time, the AI-powered grammar checker had to be turned on by a system administrator, meaning it wouldn’t be widely available by default. Now, Google says all G Suite users will see these suggestions popping up in Google Docs. Some of the common ones include usage of affect versus…

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An Even Longer, 3 Hour “Ultimate Cut” of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ is Being Put Together!

Fans of Clive Barker‘s 1990 epic Nightbreed are no doubt intimately familiar with the many different versions of the film, which include the studio-edited theatrical cut, as well as a Director’s Cut released by Scream Factory in 2014. And then there’s the “Cabal Cut,” to date the longest cut of the film that’s ever been put together. But that’s about to change.

As reported by The Clive Barker Podcast, a brand new THREE HOUR “Ultimate” version of the legendary Cabal Cut is being put together, loaded with footage NO FAN has ever seen!

The site notes, speaking of the new version’s extended length…

That’s an hour longer than the Director’s cut and more than half hour longer than the Cabal Cut version that was released by Seraphim a couple of years ago.”

Some of the footage for this “Ultimate” cut has been pulled from newly discovered VHS dailies, which no one has seen. You can track the progress of this version of Nightbreed by following @nbcabalcut on Twitter, which looks to be the official account for the project. Each day, they’ve been tweeting out beautiful HD images to whet your appetite.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!

Midian on fire. #nightbreed #cabalcut #horror #HorrorFilm pic.twitter.com/FETAThcQbE

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 24, 2019

Scared ‘breed #nightbreed #cabalcut #horror #HorrorFilm pic.twitter.com/lPO9705fCh

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 24, 2019

“Death everywhere, and you and me in the middle” #nightbreed #cabalcut #horror #horrorfilm pic.twitter.com/k1eEyBcV7F

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 24, 2019

Peloquin prop about to be run over #nightbreed #cabalcut #horrorfilm #horror pic.twitter.com/xjMerfrybG

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 23, 2019

Narcisse posing in a stolen hat #nightbreed #cabalcut #horror #horrorfilm pic.twitter.com/VrFCqPnB3z

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 21, 2019

The dark past of humanity vs the Nightbreed. #nightbreed #cabalcut #horrorfilm #horror pic.twitter.com/h61iQgxTou

— cabalcut (@nbcabalcut) February 17, 2019

New Vietnam

Back in 1975, Rev. Carl McIntire had the idea of bringing the Vietnam experience back to America by building a Vietnam theme park (to be called ‘New Vietnam’) in Florida, near Cape Canaveral. Needless to say, the idea didn’t go over well. Some details:

The village hootches will be built on stilts, surrounded by rice paddies worked by refugees dressed in native garb.
Adjacent to the village will be a rectangular special forces camp encircled by a moat and guarded by machine gun nests, punji stakes and fatigue-clad “soldiers” hired from the county. Inside will be a war museum of Viet Cong and American memorabilia.

Orlando Sentinel – Sep 11, 1975 (click to enlarge)

Philadelphia Daily News – Jun 12, 1975