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Dread Central is an American website founded in 2006 that is dedicated to horror news, interviews, and reviews. It covers horror films, comics, novels, and toys. Dread Central has won the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Website four times and was selected as AMC's Site of the Week in 2008.
Dread Central was founded on July 4, 2006. When a venture to create a horror-themed cable television channel stalled, the web team left and established their own news site. In 2012, a negative review posted by Scott Foy attracted controversy when Foy and the film's director, Jim Wynorski, engaged in a verbal altercation online. Jonathan Barkan became Dread Central's new editor-in-chief on August 3, 2018. On September 30, 2019, Jonathan Barkan announced he was stepping down as editor-in-chief. There are now two co-editors-in-chief: Josh Millican, and Alyse Wax.
The site's staff use horror-themed aliases. The website has a broad focus, and it covers both mainstream and fringe topics that range from horror films to comics to toys. Besides reviews and news, they also host several podcasts. Steve Persall of the Tampa Bay Times states, "if it gushes blood or desecrates flesh, Dread Central covers it." The site is oriented toward a male demographic and favors edgy, exploitative films.
In 2007, Dread Central and VersusMedia announced Horror D'Oeuvres, a competition for independentshort films. In 2008, the site partnered with several other prominent horror sites and studios in a horror-themed auction to raise money for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. In 2013, they partnered with Gas Lamp Museum and the San Diego Ghost Hunters to organize a ghost hunt at the William Heath Davis House. The proceeds went toward upkeep for the historic site. Also in 2013, they began offering the "Box of Dread", a random package full of merchandise delivered monthly to subscribers, one of whom is randomly chosen to receive a "special edition" valued at $250.
In 2017, Dread Central Media was acquired by Epic Pictures Group. The independent studio announced it would be launching a new distribution label specializing in horror films released in theaters and on demand. On January 29, 2019, the label was renamed DREAD. Their first in-house produced film, The Golem, will be the first film under the DREAD Originals banner.