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Stream to scream: monster line-up on Showmax, from ‘Lovecraft Country’ to ‘Us’

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2020 has been plenty scary enough: I imagine in years to come, kids will dress up in Covid-19 masks just to see the shivers run down their parents’ spines. But horror is about more than just the jump scares: it’s also about the collective release that comes after. So for everyone looking to let out some of that built-up fear and stress from the worst year in recent memory, Showmax has a monster line-up full of things that go bump in the night…

US | Movie


Kenyan Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther12 Years A Slave)) stars as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children. But their idyllic summer getaway turns to chaos when their doppelgängers begin to terrorise them. 

 

Directed by Jordan Peele, Us was the 31st biggest box office hit of 2019 globally, won 73 awards, and appeared in numerous Best of the Year lists for 2019. The horror has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who listed it at #1 on their list of the best-reviewed horror movies of all times and #2 behind Black Panther on their list of The 100 Best Black Movies Of The 21st Century.

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I was drawn to this idea that we are our own worst enemy,” says Peele. “That’s something we all know intrinsically, but it’s a truth we tend to bury. We blame the outsider; we blame ‘the other.’ In this movie, the monster has our faces.”

 

As The Wall Street Journal says, “It’s compulsory seeing for everyone who loves the horror genre, the movie medium and the notion of saying sage things about contemporary life without straying from entertainment’s twisty path.”

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY S1 | Series

 

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In the 1950s, Atticus, a young African-American, sets out on a road trip with his friend and uncle to find his missing father. This catapults the three into a struggle for survival against the dual terrors of Jim Crow-era America and terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a paperback written by pulpy horror author HP Lovecraft.

 

Based on the cult novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country is a collaboration between Misha Green (creator of Underground, named Best New Cable/New Media Show of 2016 by the African-American Film Critics Association) and Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Us, Get Out), executive produced by JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, Lost, Super 8, Westworld).

The fantastic cast includes Black Reel nominee Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San FranciscoDa 5 Bloods), Teen Choice nominee Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Birds of PreyFriday Night Lights), four-time Emmy nominee Michael Kenneth Williams (When They See Us, The Night Of), Golden Globe nominee Courtney B Vance (The People Vs OJ Simpson, Law & Order), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Neon Demon), and Nigerian BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku (Luther, The End of the F*ing WorldFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

Lovecraft Country is currently the sixth most popular horror series on IMDb and has a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Newsday put it, “To call Lovecraft Country ‘wildly original’ seems almost a quaint understatement. But it is wild. And original. Little doubt about that.”

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 THE WALKING DEAD S10 | Series 

 

Based on Robert Kirkman’s hit comics, The Walking Dead is the definitive zombie show, having won 77 awards globally, including Emmys, People’s Choice and Critics Choice awards.  

 

The Walking Dead is currently the fourth most popular horror series on IMDb, while Season 10 has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus is, “A few changes in front of and behind the camera allow The Walking Dead to create space for compelling new stories and some seriously scary new adversaries.” 

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Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira return in their People’s Choice-nominated roles as Daryl and Michonne, as does Melissa McBride in her Critics Choice-nominated role as Carol. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is also still alive as Negan, a role that won him MTV and Critics Choice awards, but the bigger threat this season is two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (HarlotsIn AmericaMinority Report) as Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers, who wear the skins of zombies, and live among them…

 HEREDITARY | Movie


When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel increasingly terrifying secrets about her life. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. 

 

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Winner of 45 awards, including Best-Wide Release Film and Best Kill at the 2019 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Hereditary stars Oscar nominee Toni Collette (Unbelievable) and Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), who both won Chainsaw Awards for their roles. Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne (Vikings), Golden Globe nominee Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Broadway child star Milly Shapiro (Matilda) co-star.

 

The eleventh best reviewed horror movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes, where the film has an 89% score and the critics consensus says, “Hereditary uses its classic setup as the framework for a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits.”

AMERICAN HORROR STORY | Series

Currently the ninth most popular horror series on IMDb, American Horror Story has the first eight seasons available on Showmax. The horror anthology moves each season, from a house with a murderous past to an insane asylum, from a witch coven to a freak show circus, from a haunted hotel to a possessed farmhouse, and from a cult to the apocalypse.

 

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Co-created by TV heavyweights Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Pose, American Crime Story, Glee), American Horror Story has won over 100 awards, including a Golden Globe and two Emmys for Jessica Lange, a Golden Globe for Lady Gaga, and an Emmy each for Kathy Bates and James Cromwell. It’s also been nominated as Outstanding Limited Series at both the Golden Globes and the Emmys.

With an 8/10 rating on IMDb, American Horror Story was renewed for another three seasons in January 2020.


WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS S2
 | Series

 

From multiple Emmy nominee Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) and 2020 Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo RabbitThor: Ragnarok), the hit mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is a look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires who’ve lived together in New York for over 100 years – plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves. 

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This year the magnificently silly mock-doc series showed its teeth with eight Emmy nominations for Season 2, including one for Best Comedy Series and three for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. It’s at #11 on Rotten Tomatoes’ Best TV of 2020 (So Far) list, with a 100% critics rating, and has been hailed as “TV’s best comedy” by The Hollywood Reporter, among others.  It’s at #10 on IMDb’s list of the top-rated horror series of all time, with an 8.5/10 rating.

 

What We Do In The Shadows stars BAFTA winners Kayvan Novak (Four Lions) and Matt Berry (The IT CrowdToast of London) as Nandor the Relentless and Laszlo respectively. Sketch comedian Natasia Demetriou is Laszlo’s sultry sire, Nadja, while Mark Proksch (The OfficeBetter Call Saul) plays energy vampire Colin Robinson. But while the vamps flap and fuss in the foreground, it’s downtrodden little Guillermo, Nandor’s familiar, played by Harvey Guillén (The Magicians), who swoops into the spotlight this season, having discovered he’s descended from the famed vampire slayer van Helsing. 

 
THE ADDAMS FAMILY | Movie

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The 2019 reboot of The Addams Family is currently at #12 on IMDb’s list of the most popular horror movies. The world’s kookiest family is coming to town and this poor little New Jersey suburb has no idea what’s about to hit it. When Wednesday Addams befriends the daughter of reality TV host Margaux Needler, who’s hell-bent on building the perfect planned community, the Addams family find themselves way out of their league when it comes to “assimilation.”

 

The all-star voice cast is led by our own Oscar winner Charlize Theron as Morticia Addams; Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars’ Poe Dameron) as Gomez; Teen Choice and Joey Award winner Chloë Grace Moretz (Greta, Kick-Ass) as Wednesday; and People’s Choice and Teen Choice nominee Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as the death-defying, gene-pool-skimming Pugsley. 


Emmy-nominated comedian Nick Kroll (Big Mouth) voices Uncle Fester, Emmy nominee Snoop Dogg is It, and Oscar nominee Bette Midler plays Grandma. The Needlers are voiced by Oscar winner Allison Janney as Margaux and Golden Globe nominee Elsie Fisher (Despicable Me’s adorable Agnes) as Parker. Also listen out for Emmy-winning comedy legends Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek,Beetlejuice) and Martin Short (SCTVThree Amigos, Inner Space) as the voices of Grandma and Grandpa Frump.

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The Addams Family is rated 10-12 PGVH.
RAGE | Movie

 

In Rage, a group of school-leavers descend on a tiny coastal town for a celebration of their freedom. Roxy, Sihle, Kyle, Leon, Tamsyn and Neo party on the beach and drink themselves silly every night. The townsfolk, Hermien and her son Albert, are welcoming – too welcoming. During a psychedelic trip on the beach, the friends witness a disturbing birth ritual, which could be a hallucination, or not. Soon fertility figurines start to appear at random places, and what is supposed to be the best holiday of their lives turns to horror as the teenagers are picked off one by one.

 

Nicole Fortuin, whose previous film, Flatland, opened the Berlin Panorama, stars as Tamsyn, with The Girl From St Agnes’ breakout stars Jane de Wet (MoffieStill Breathing) and Tristan de Beer (Alles Malan, Doctor Who) as Roxy and Kyle. The cast also includes two-time Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel (Dwaalster, Hum, Slaaf); two-time Vita winner Linda Botha; Shalima Mkongi (Isithembiso, Nkululeko, Keeping Score); Fiesta, Kanna and Fleur du Cape nominee David Viviers (Kanarie); and Sihle Mnqwazana, who co-wrote and acted in The Fall, a New York Times critic’s choice play.

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Rage is directed by Jaco Bouwer, a multi-award-winning theatre director who was SAFTA-nominated this year for Dwaalster. His short film, this country is lonely, premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018 and he also directed Die Spreeus, one of the 10 most-watched local series on Showmax in 2019 – and another good local option.

 

Rage has been hailed as ‘briljant’ (Son), “hair raising” (Daily Sun), “gripping” (IOL), “scary as hell” (9Lives), “quite stunning and brilliantly filmed” (Channel24), and “genuinely creepy… one of the best attempts at the genre ever made in this country” (Fortress of Solitude), with Daily Maverick saying it will “scare the living daylights out of you.”

 

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Other local horrors on Showmax include Beer Adrianse’s Parable and Darrell Roodt’s Siembamba | The Lullaby, which both picked up international awards, and Jerome Pikwane’s The Tokoloshe, which opened the 2018 Durban International Film Festival.

INTO THE DARK S1 | Series

 

In this horror anthology from Oscar-nominated producer Jason Blum (UsGet Out, The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and more), each episode is inspired by a holiday, from Thanksgiving, Christmas to New Year’s Eve.  

 

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Look out for the likes of Emmy nominee Jimmi Simpson (Westworld), Teen Choice Award winner Josephine Langford (After), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s WeddingAugust: Osage County), and Harvey Guillén (Guillermo in What We Do In The Shadows).


Into The Dark was nominated as Best Series at the 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and hailed as “a spooky Halloween treat” by Rotten Tomatoes.  

 

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK | Movie

 

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From the dark imaginations of Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and acclaimed director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) comes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on the iconic book series.

 

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind but the small town of Mill Valley seems far removed from the unrest in the cities. For generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large there. In their mansion on the edge of town, Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time – stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home…

 

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark won Best Horror/Thriller Film at the National Film and Television Awards in the USA in 2019, as well as Best Creature FX at the 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards.

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THE PRODIGY | Movie

 

“Mommy, will you always love me, no matter what I do?” asks Miles, at the end of the viral hit trailer for The Prodigy. But Miles is not like other children, so we can forgive his mother for not answering straight away…

Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie in It) earned a 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Award nomination for his chilling performance as Miles, while Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Taylor Schilling (Piper in Orange Is The New Black) plays his increasingly terrified mother.

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The Los Angeles Times hailed The Prodigy as a “tense and gripping, persuasively acted horror-thriller that evokes such evil-child flicks asThe Omen, The Exorcist, The Bad Seed and The Good Son.

CHILD’S PLAY | Movie

Chucky’s back. Even better, he’s now a smart home assistant, and voiced by Mark Hammil (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars).

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From the producers of It, Child’s Play cleverly updates the 80’s horror icon for the Internet of Things era – and as RogertEbert.com says, the result is “nastier, more playful, and just as good if not better than the original film.”

Nominated for a 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Creature Effects, Child’s Play also stars Gabriel Bateman (Outcast, Lights Out) as Max and MTV Movie and TV Awards nominee Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Legion) as his single mom, Karen.

 

Octavia Spencer (The HelpThe Shape of WaterHidden Figures) kicks her Oscar-winning actress mould to the curb and stomps on it in this bonkers horror flick, with a little help from her best friend and former housemate, BAFTA-nominated writer/director Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train), who hand-picked the stereotype-smashing role at her request.

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Ma centres on a group of teens who luck out when middle-aged single Sue Ann (aka Ma) offers them her basement to hang out and party in. But just as it seems things couldn’t get sweeter, they begin to suspect there’s something a little off about Ma…

 

Produced by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning producer Jason Blum (Get OutUsBlacKkKlansman), Ma was nominated at both the Teen Choice and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film awards last year.

 

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The cast includes Oscar winner Allison Janney, Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (Cape FearNatural Born Killers), Teen Choice winner Luke Evans (Shaw in Fast & Furious 6, 7 and 8, and Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston) and Diana Silvers (Space Force).

 

“Audiences will walk out with that good chiropractor feeling,” says San Francisco Chronicle, “the one that says, ‘Yes, I have been manipulated. I have been nothing but manipulated and pounded on for the last 90 minutes. And it was a very satisfying thing.’”

PET SEMATARY | Movie

 

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Dr Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, move to rural Maine with their two young children. When their daughter Ellie discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home, Louis is quick to put her at ease. But these woods belong to something else. Something that brings things back from the dead.

 

This 2019 adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars Oscar nominee John Lithgow (The Crown3rd Rock from the Sun), Jason Clarke (John Connor in Terminator Genisys), and Amy Seimetz (Eleven’s aunt Becky in Stranger Things), with Jeté Laurence (Sneaky Pete) as Ellie.

 

Pet Sematary was the 66th biggest box office hit of 2019, grossing over $112m worldwide. The horror was also nominated for three 2019 Saturn Awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for Best Horror Film, Best Supporting Actor (John Lithgow) and Best Make-Up.

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“The movie honours King by raising fresh hell for a new generation,” says Rolling Stone. ”It will make you jump out of your seat, but what matters are the provocations you take home and can’t shake. That’s the stuff of nightmares.”

CRAWL | Movie

 

If the storm doesn’t get you, the alligators will…

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Following a Category 5 hurricane, competitive swimmer Haley and her estranged father, Dave, find themselves trapped in the flooded basement of their run-down house, where every shadow conceals the waiting jaws of a brutal apex predator.     

 

Four-time Teen Choice nominee Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner and Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge) and Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Barry Pepper (Maze RunnerThe Green Mile) co-star as Haley and Dave. 

 

This excellent schlock creature-feature horror is a 2020 nominee for both Best Horror Film at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards and Best Wide Release Film at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. It’s directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) and produced by the legendary Sam Raimi (Evil Dead30 Days of Night and Spider-Man).

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The 71st biggest box office hit of 2019, Crawl has an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus describes it as “an action-packed creature feature that’s fast, terrifying, and benefits greatly from a completely game Kaya Scodelario.” Vulture called it “a perfect horror film for the summer, as much an ode to the cataclysmic, humbling aspects of Mother Nature as it is a love letter to father-daughter relationships.”

 

OVERLORD | Movie

From Emmy-winning super-producer J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, Super Eight, Lovecraft Country), Overlord follows a group of American paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day. As the soldiers approach their target, they soon begin to realise that there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. Making their way to an underground lab, the outnumbered men stumble upon a sinister experiment that forces them into a vicious battle against an army of the undead.

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Overlord has an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions.”

 

 

Starring 2020 Emmy nominee Jovan Adepo (Watchmen) and Teen Choice nominee Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street, The Good Lord Bird),Overlord was nominated for a 2019 Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Wide-Release Film and for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.

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HELLBOY | Movie

 

It takes a brave director to take over a dearly loved franchise over from Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labryinth).

 

Enter Emmy nominee Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, The Descent), who inherits the Hellboy franchise from the two-time Oscar winner. He’s brought in an all-star cast as backup, including Golden Globe nominee David Harbour (Stranger Things) in the title role; Teen Choice nominee Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Resident Evil) as Nimue, The Blood Queen; and the likes of Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (Deadwood, Pirates of the Caribbean, John Wick) and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, Easy A, Spider-Man 3).

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Anything based on Mike Mignola’s graphic novels will always be worth watching for us, but just be warned: this one got more love from the Razzie Awards than critics…THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS | Movie

 

Ten-year-old orphan Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his strange uncle in a creaky old house whose walls contain a mysterious tick-tocking magic. When Lewis accidentally disturbs the dead, the sleepy town comes alive with dark witchery.

 

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Based on John Bellairs’ children’s book, The House With A Clock In Its Walls stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Golden Globe nominee Jack Black, as well as Golden Globe winner Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks). 

 

It’s the first younger-audience film from gore maestro Eli Roth (HostelCabin Fever), who’s called it a “starter horror movie.”  Slate calls it “a bullseye… perfectly balanced between funny and scary.” 


Rated 10-12PGVH, The House With A Clock In Its Walls was the 54th biggest box office hit of 2018, grossing over $130m globally. 

THE STRAIN S1-4 | Series

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Created by Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of WaterPan’s Labyrinth), The Strain opens with a mysterious 
outbreak on a plane, which escalates to the entire city of New York falling prey to a viral strain of vampirism.

 

Nominated for eight Saturn Awards from The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, including Best Horror TV Series, The Strain stars Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll (Ant-ManHouse of Cards), BAFTA winner David Bradley (Walder Frey from Game of Thrones, Filch from Harry Potter), Oscar nominee Sean Astin (Stranger ThingsLord of the Rings), and Kevin Durand (Wolverine).

 

Also nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Most Exciting New Series, The Strain has a 79% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, with BuzzFeed calling it “some of the most intense and disturbing scenes ever on television.
THE PURGE | Movie

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In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity – including murder – becomes legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It’s one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger breaks into their gated community.

 

Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke earned his first and only MTV Awards Best Scared-As-S**t Performance nomination as the father, with Golden Globe nominee Lena Headey (Cersei in Game of Thrones) playing his wife.

 

The #1 box office hit spawned another three movies, The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), and The First Purge(2018) – all of which are available on Showmax – and a TV series. A fifth movie, The Forever Purge, is expected in 2021.

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The opening credits of the first movie date the opening credits to 2020, making this the perfect year to revisit this modern horror classic.  

 

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Radio & TV

TV Personality Efya Stard Edna Launches “Eat Ghana Agenda” to Celebrate Ghana Month

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Efya Edna Stard Ghana Month

As Ghana celebrates its vibrant cultural heritage during the annual Ghana Month, esteemed TV personality Efya Stard Edna is proud to announce the launch of her innovative “Eat Ghana Agenda.” Through her popular shows, Fanzone and Chef’s Apron, Efya Stard Edna will lead a month-long celebration of Ghanaian cuisine, highlighting the richness and diversity of local dishes while engaging audiences in fun and interactive culinary experiences.

The “Eat Ghana Agenda” aims to promote Ghanaian cuisine and culinary traditions, showcasing the country’s diverse array of flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques. As the host of Fanzone, a dynamic talk show that explores various aspects of Ghanaian culture, and Chef’s Apron, a popular cooking program that features delicious recipes and cooking tips, Efya Stard Edna is uniquely positioned to spearhead this exciting initiative.

Throughout the month of March, viewers can look forward to special episodes of Fanzone and Chef’s Apron dedicated to celebrating Ghanaian cuisine. 

From showcasing traditional dishes to exploring modern twists on classic recipes, Efya Stard Edna will take audiences on a culinary journey across Ghana, highlighting the country’s rich culinary heritage and vibrant food culture.

One of the highlights of the “Eat Ghana Agenda” will be interactive segments where Efya Stard Edna challenges viewers to test their knowledge of Ghanaian dishes. Through fun quizzes, trivia games, and cooking challenges, audiences will have the opportunity to learn more about their favorite Ghanaian foods while engaging in friendly competition and camaraderie.

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In addition to her television programs, Efya Stard Edna will also utilize her social media platforms to share mouth-watering recipes, cooking tutorials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of her culinary adventures. By leveraging the power of social media, she hopes to inspire Ghanaians to embrace and celebrate their culinary heritage in their own homes and communities.

Commenting on the launch of the “Eat Ghana Agenda,” Efya Stard Edna expressed her excitement about showcasing Ghanaian cuisine to a wider audience and fostering a greater appreciation for local flavors and ingredients. She emphasized the importance of preserving and promoting Ghana’s culinary traditions as a means of preserving national identity and fostering cultural pride.

“I am thrilled to launch the ‘Eat Ghana Agenda’ as part of our celebration of Ghana Month,” said Efya Stard Edna. 

“Through this initiative, we hope to shine a spotlight on the rich diversity of Ghanaian cuisine and inspire people to explore and enjoy the delicious flavors of our country.”

The “Eat Ghana Agenda” is part of Efya Stard Edna’s ongoing commitment to promoting Ghanaian culture and heritage through engaging and entertaining programming. As Ghana continues to celebrate its unique identity during Ghana Month, Efya Stard Edna invites viewers to join her in celebrating the flavors, aromas, and traditions of Ghanaian cuisine.

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MultiChoice Talent Factory set to premiere two feature films exclusively on Africa Magic this weekend

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West Africa’s leading film school for young, talented, and passionate filmmakers, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), is set to premiere two feature films – Grown and Her Dark Past on Africa’s most loved storytelling platform Africa Magic. The two compelling films which are the final projects of the MTF Class of 2023 students, will exclusively premiere on Africa Magic Showcase (Ch 151) and Africa Magic Urban (Ch 153) in the first two weekends this March.

Set in the 1990’s, Grown is a fantasy drama that explores the themes of adulthood, motherhood, love, fear and magic. It tells the story of an over-pampered teenager who resents her mother, wishes she was an adult and wakes up to a rude shock one morning as a grown woman with kids. Only then, does she realize that adulthood is a scam, regrets her wish and begins a fight to become young again. Written by Nosa Isibor and Boakye D. Alpha, directed by Ola Jegede and Empress Allen and produced by Desmond Ebuwa Ekunwe and Nosa Isibor, the film stars Efe Irele, Yemi Cregx, Bobby Ekpe, Najite Dede and Sarah Obiekwe among others.

In Her Dark Past, the life of an uber-successful social media influencer and life coach starts to crumble when the child she left for dead resurfaces years later, giving way to a complex spiral of drama that imperils her seemingly perfect life and unearths the trauma she fights daily to bury. Directed by Oluwatobi Deborah Ahmed and Samuel Oluwasegun Ogundeyi and produced by Elvis Damptey and Adeniran Wuraola, the film stars Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman, Daniel Etim Effiong, Iremide Adeoye, Ego Ihenacho and Fadekemi Olumide-Aluko among others.

Read Also: Meet the MultiChoice Talent Factory West Africa Class of 2024!her dark past 4

“Her Dark Past and Grown are two films that beautifully capture the pressures of young people living in this social media age, teaching them to relish their youth, be true to themselves and rely on the unwavering support of those who love them beyond the façade of social media” says MTF West Africa Academy Director, Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde. “They are authentic African stories, told by Africans for Africa and we are proud to bring them to audiences across Africa this March.

“Telling well-crafted stories and creating films of good quality, are the hallmarks of the 1-year these talented young filmmakers spend at the MultiChoice Talent Factory. The whole curriculum is designed to ensure that every student who goes through the programme graduates as a solid filmmaker who understands the art and business of filmmaking” says Babatunde. “For the class of 2023, these films were their opportunity to put all their learning into practice and I am super proud of what they have created and can’t wait for the rest of Africa to enjoy the magic as well.”

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Grown premieres on Africa Magic Showcase (Ch 151) at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 2 and on Africa Magic Urban (Ch 153) at 8pm on Saturday, March 9 while Her Dark Past premieres on Africa Magic Showcase (Ch 151) at 8.30pm on Sunday, March 3 and on Africa Magic Urban (Ch 153) at 8pm on Sunday, March 10.

MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) West Africa, is one of three academies on the continent committed to the growth and thorough development of aspiring filmmakers and the creative industry through deep theoretical and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling, amongst others. Visit www.multichoicetalentfactory.com and follow @multichoicetalentfactorywa on all social media platforms to learn more.

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Kojo Manuel hosts musical game show Play by Ear on Akwaaba Magic

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The reigning Ghanaian hype man of the year and Radio personality Kojo Manuel (real name Kojo Kusi Nyantakyi) is the host of the new exciting musical television show ‘Play by Ear’.

Play by Ear is a new show premiering on Akwaaba Magic on 22nd February at 7pm. It is a musical game show like no other that tests the musical knowledge of contestants. The contestants are made up of a blend of celebrity guests and music lovers.

Known as one of the finest hosts and hype men in Ghana, Kojo Manuel has grown his brand in the media space and is one of the most sought after talents now. He is the host of the drYve of your lyfe on Yfm, and has his own podcast on Lynx TV named ‘The Mile 7’. He also his channel ‘A Mad Network’, that focuses on covering some of the major events he hosts.

However, hosting Play by Ear is another major milestone in his career.

“It’s a MAD feeling to host a music game show on akwaaba magic that focuses on Ghanaian music. the most fun i’ve had in a while,” Kojo Manuel shared.

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Kojo Manuel radio show the drYve of your lyfe recently won the Late Afternoon Radio show at the RTP Awards. He was also named the best hype man by the Ghana DJ Awards. He recently launched his Merch collection – ‘Mad Merch’ that can be seen on the main cover art for Play by Ear.

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Daniel Etim Effiong, M.I, Kaffy, Captain Toba tapped for brand new TV show: Cooking With Gamechangers

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Nollywood’s Daniel Etim-Effiong, leading rapper, MI Abaga, Dancer extraordinaire, Kaffy Shafau; and culinary expert/Helicopter pilot, Captain Toba Abifarin, are bringing something exciting to your screens in March 2024. These exciting four will be revealed on Cooking with GameChangers, a brand new TV show that is a spinoff of the popular TV show Binging with GameChangers hosted and created by Seyi Banigbe.

The show follows the day-to-day lives of successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives who have excelled in their respective fields. They end up in a cook-off for the

“Ultimate GameChanger” title as they make delicious meals to be judged by M.I., Dr. Kaffy, and Captain Toba.M.I CWG

Daniel, who has a phenomenal time playing host to the GameChangers, Judges and audience said “ I love the novelty of the show format and can’t wait for viewers at home to watch and enjoy the show”.Capt. Toba Abifarin CWG

The show creator, Seyi Banigbe, thought it would be great to showcase the softer side of the GameChangers alongside their successful professional lives and considered food to be the one thing that binds every kind of person together irrespective of their profession, gender or job. This inspired her to get all of the featured GameChangers into a cooking competition.Dr Kaffy CWG

Seyi Banigbe said “a part of me wanted to give people more. On Binging with GameChangers, I speak with GameChangers about their growth stories but I wanted to deliver success stories this time in a way that would excite both the eyes and taste buds of the viewers”. 

Cooking with GameChangers is scheduled to premiere on the 7th of March. It will air on YouTube and TV stations nationwide.

You can watch the show teaser here: https://youtu.be/R9MKc_Qd9eQ

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Follow the Show:

Facebook & Instagram: @cookingwithgamechangers Threads, Tiktok & LinkedIn: @CookingwithGameChangersX: @CookingwithGame

YouTube: @B2GNetwork

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Folake Olowofoyeku talks cultural impact of ‘Bob Hearts Abisola’ as final season of the sitcom kicks off

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Folake Olowofoyeku, the charismatic actress at the heart of the popular CBS sitcom, ”Bob Hearts Abishola,” has shed light on the cultural impacts of the show, emphasizing the significance of authentic representation of African culture.

The show, which premiered in September 2019, follows the unconventional love story between Bob, a middle-aged sock businessman, and Abishola, a Nigerian immigrant nurse. Olowofoyeku’s portrayal of Abishola, a Nigerian immigrant navigating life in the United States, has become a cultural touchstone, breaking stereotypes and providing a nuanced perspective on the African diaspora.

Through the lens of Abishola, Olowofoyeku highlighted the difficulties of bridging cultural gaps, showcasing the challenges and triumphs of immigrants in a foreign land. The character brings forth a strong sense of identity, proudly displaying her Nigerian heritage while adapting to the complexities of American life. The series explored their unique relationship, blending humor, romance, and cultural clashes.

Read Also: Creator of The Big Bang Theory introduces new TV show about a Nigerian immigrant

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Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ameyaw TV, the multi-talented Olowofoyeku shared some personal highlights of the journey on the series, which is now its fifth and final season.

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“The Devil’s Hot Tub” – Abishola and Kemi’s friendship is pushed to the edge when Kemi wants to disregard Nigerian tradition and have a Las Vegas wedding. Also, Bob and the Wheelers have to avert a strike at MaxDot before it sinks the family business, on BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA, Monday, Feb. 26 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured: Folake Olowofoyeku as Abishola. Photo credit: Michael Yarish/2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

She said: ‘There’s been so much growth, this is the first time in my life I had a job longer than a month. Also, the impact that the show has had on the culture, I would say is one of the many highlights. It’s giving context to the Immigrant experience, not just in America but globally and not just for Nigerian immigrants, I think every kind of immigrant and it’s shown that regardless of what we look like and sound like, we all want love at the end of the day.

”And so this show was timely, considering the climate for the world globally I think it was something that uplifted folks and provided an escape. So I’m grateful for those being the highlights that this project is associated with and in terms of the impact culturally the awareness it created for African culture,” she added.

Olowofoyeku, who doubles as a musician averred that impact has been shocking as she never imagined that venturing into the series would make such an impeccable impact on the culture.

”The impact has been shocking because I didn’t realize venturing into this would mean so much to so many people. I was just the starving artist who had been in the game for a very long time, over 15 years before I got this job. One of the defense mechanisms was to just leave it on the table and forget about it. I did the same with this project and luckily it turned out to be the magnificent gift that has been so I’m filled with gratitude for it.”

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Oprah Winfrey and Folake Olowofoyeku behind the scenes at The 66th Annual Grammy Awards, airing live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, Sunday, Feb. 4 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/5:00-8:30 PM, live PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.* Photo: Francis Specker/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Olowofoyeku also opened up about her NAACP Image Awards nomination in the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series category. The annual awards ceremony, which is presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is held to honor outstanding performances in film, television, music, and literature.

”I felt like I was being recognized by my people and that meant a lot to me. The NAACP is responsible for the opportunity that I have in this country, and the work that they’ve done is the reason I can come to America and flourish the way I wasn’t able to do at home. I’m grateful for that acknowledgement it made me feel proud,’‘ she said.

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On how her achievements have translated back home in Nigeria in terms of work opportunities and acceptance, Olowofoyeku remarked: ”It’s bittersweet because the reason I left Nigeria was because I wasn’t able to do what I’m doing here. I had to leave the home that I love. I would happily have remained in Nigeria but fate would have it that, where opportunities lay for me would be in this country. It is also like a full circle moment because going back home the acceptance that I wanted now exists so many years later doing the exact same thing I was told not to do.

” I also feel slighted in a way. I feel slighted for having to leave my home but I think the bigger plan and the greater good and something cosmically was in play, because the fact that my mother on the show has my mother’s name in real life and all the characters of Yoruba descent on the show are from where my father is from, makes it feel like there was there was greater work outside of my comfort to be done and I’m grateful for that,’‘ she added.

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Africa Now Radio this Friday with YKB

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With YKB the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Nandi Madida’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Nandi Madida this Friday, February 16th at 9a London / 10a Lagos/Paris / 11a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian Afro-fusion star YKB joins Nandi Madida via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, ”high and sober.” He also discusses his new deluxe EP, ‘YUSFUL MUSIC (RELOADED),’ his creative process, and working with super producer and artist, Pheelz.

The Big 5
Nandi Madida shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Reekado Banks, Seyi Vibez, & Del B, Victony, Wizkid, Venom, Shishiliza & Yumbs feat. Ch’cco, Nomfundoh Moh & Baby S.O.N, and Ch’cco feat. ToooValid.

Africa Rising
Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter and entertainer BhadBoi OML is the latest artist featured from Apple Music’s Africa Rising playlist, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features his singles, “Shkran Lak” and “Owereke.” Listen HERE.

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Nandi’s Song of the Week
Each week, Nandi Madida chooses her favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week she spotlights Grammy-award winner and South African sensation Tyla, and her single “Truth or Dare,” from Apple Music’s Afrobeats Hits playlist. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday, February 16th at 9a London / 10a Lagos/Paris / 11a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

YKB tells Apple Music What Inspired a Deluxe Version of His EP, ‘YUSFUL MUSIC

With YUSFUL MUSIC, I feel like I was able to communicate a certain feeling of a young African creative in the times that we are, relating to how my parents treated my work… how I feel like I’m in a congested place where I feel like I need to make it out. Those are the things the EP communicated.

I personally feel like there’s more that I want people to feel from that, and also I just believe the EP didn’t reach as many people as I wanted because it was lacking some fun element.
What I’ve noticed with my people is that we gravitate towards fun records – records that say something about fun – or records that are deep and melancholy, so this is my attempt to add more fun to the project and have people pay attention like ‘ok you know what, let me listen to this whole thing this guy made’ and therefore get the feeling they’ve been missing out on.

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YKB tells Apple Music How Pheelz helped bring ‘YUSFUL MUSIC (RELOADED)’ to Life

We played Yusful Music for him when it was done, and he was like he likes the writing on the songs… [so] then when I wanted to make Reloaded as the deluxe version, I told him I wanted him to executive produce it – let’s rearrange the tracks, let’s add some production too, and direct me on like how you feel I should make these new songs. He was actually a huge part of the process. You know how you have your head and you want to add extensions? So he was very instrumental in helping me make the extensions, and how we can attach it

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