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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The Guest opens today in limited release.] From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling. Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age. The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together. While Wingard carries the Carpenter-esque tone by making excellent use of Robby Baumgartner’s cinematography and Stephen Moore’s score, his greatest asset is Dan Stevens’ tremendous lead performance. And even when the picture starts to get away from Wingard, it never ceases to be an entertaining ride. Laura Peterson (Sheila Kelley) is grieving over the death of her son Caleb when a man arrives on her doorstep claiming to be his army buddy, David Collins (Stevens). Even though he sports a little bit of handsome stubble, David’s attitude is completely clean-cut. »
- Matt Goldberg
Filmed, directed and edited by Adam Wingard — the filmmaker behind last year’s eerie slasher film, You’re Next — The Guest follows Stevens’ weathered solider David who, after returning to home soil following his service, visits the family of a fallen ally to help them in their time of need. However, as the thriller unfolds, it becomes readily apparent that David isn’t all that he seems and is instead harbouring some ulterior motives for the Peterson family.
Having made an appearance at several film festivals over the past couple of months, The Guest has been garnering positive reviews from a variety of outlets, with our own Dominic Mill praising the film’s inspired B-movie credentials — credentials »
- Michael Briers
While the world continues to experience Attack on Titan-mania, Toho is banking on the live-action adaptation of another wildly popular manga: Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte. It looks like just the sort of mix of cute, ugly, weird, and violent we expect from Japan.
Alien “parasytes” come to Earth and start taking over humans by entering people’s bodies and latching onto their brains. They can deform human bodies in ways that would make John Carpenter’s The Thing smile.
Teenager Shinichi gets infected by an alien called “Migi”, but since it is only able to control his right arm, the two come to an understanding and work together to stop the evil parasytes that only want to consume and control us.
Did you get all that? If not, here’s an even longer, more detailed synopsis of the plot.
One night by the seaside, tiny creatures, or "Parasytes, »
Gearing up for another year at Sheffield's Showroom Cinema, horror film festival Celluloid Screams has announced the full line-up of blood-soaked goodies it has in store for the weekend of October 24-26 – and boy, is it Astron-omically good!
Here it comes... straight from the press release to your eyeballs:
Opening Gala: The Editor (UK Premiere)
Kicking off Celluloid Screams 2014 in fine style, we proudly present the mind-boggling new opus from Canadian filmmaking collective Astron-6 – an affectionate tribute to the Italian giallo thrillers of the 1970s and 1980s.
Rey Ciso was once the greatest editor the world had ever seen, but after a horrific accident left him with four wooden fingers on his right hand, he’s had to resort to cutting low budget trash pictures. When the lead actors from the film he’s been editing turn up murdered at the studio, »
- Gareth Jones
Some movie titles leave very little to the imagination. This kind of bluntness can be refreshingly clarifying when one is trying to decide what to watch. For instance, one only needs to hear the name Love Story to know that if you’re not into romances, you ought to stay away. Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Horror fans, rejoice--methinks there will be blood. And Texans. Hot Tub Time Machine? You get the picture. Such was my train of thought when I popped Blood Glacier into my DVD player, and goodness knows, the film did not disappoint. It is not trying to do anything obtuse or symbolic. It is not secretly warm and fuzzy. No, it is exactly what its title says it is--a movie about a glacier in that oozes blood. What is surprising, however, is how enjoyable the movie is. In fact, of all of the recent efforts by John Carpenter »
- Lee Jutton
Nick wades into another stack of DVD releases, including 80s action epic Remo: Unarmed And Dangerous, and lots more besides...
"Whatever happened to Fred Ward?" is a line surely on the tip of most people’s tongues. Apparently, the star of Tremors and The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult has mostly been doing TV work over the last few years, though you’ll almost certainly remember him as the charismatic star of 1985’s Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. No? Well, shame on you, because Remo, making a welcome Blu-Ray debut, leads this month’s action-packed, erm, action special.
If you weren’t one of the lucky few that grew up with the preposterous movie otherwise known as Remo: Unarmed And Dangerous punctuating their childhood, we’ll fill you in. Riding on the success of the Rambo films (essentially, the only tenuous link being the vaguely similar name), Bond director »
After last week’s news about Netflix securing The Blacklist for a record fee, a similar story came to light this week concerning the pre Batman prequel series Gotham. Now rather than getting it day and date after Us broadcast as per Breaking Bad and From Dusk Till Dawn, Gotham’s entire run will just arrive on Netflix after it’s finished its TV broadcast. Worse news is that this means you have to wait for Channel 5 to get their finger out and schedule it on one of their three channels and then muck it around the schedule just to confuse you further and for it to finish its run there. Kind of takes the wind out the sails doesn’t it? I wouldn’t expect to see Gotham on Netflix until this time next year at best but we will see.
In better news David Wain’s relatively well »
- Chris Holt
The Guest, 2014.
Directed by Adam Wingard.
A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.
Following on from their home invasion genre masher, the brutally brilliant You’re Next, director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett return with The Guest, a thriller that recalls and recaptures the VHS heyday of the 80’s in all of its glory. Staying true to Wingard and Barrett’s style, they take another convention, here it’s the stranger with a mysterious background, then deconstruct it and turn it on its head so the viewer is never quite sure where the story will go next. »
- Kris Wall
The second annual Beyond Fest is coming back to Los Angeles' Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) and will be running from September 25 through October 4, 2014. Tickets are available through Fandango Now.
From the Press Release
Dedicated to delivering the elite in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and badass cinema, this year’s Beyond Fest programming reflects a globally diverse and eclectic mix of premieres, rare repertory screenings, and special events, all of which are anchored in bringing firsts to the community of genre fans in Los Angeles.
Beyond Fest has also partnered with Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network as its presenting sponsor, a partnership that will make much of the festival’s programming free to creative makers and film fans alike.
“The response was so great last year that we knew we had to bring Beyond Fest back, so much so that we immediately started planning this installment,” said Christian Parkes, co-founder of Beyond Fest. »
- Steve Barton
"What the f**k?"
The final three words of The Guest provide a fitting end to this peculiar yet hugely enjoyable thriller that boasts terrific performances from Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens and future star Maika Monroe. Gripping from start to finish, this calculating offering from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett gloriously subverts generic conventions much like their previous collaboration You're Next - but with a great deal more success.
Fortunately, The Guest is never too consumed by its postmodern manipulative pretensions. Its prime focus is on the unfolding story of a mysterious man called David (Stevens), who visits a grieving family claiming to be a friend of their soldier son who recently died in action. He's soon welcomed into their home and allowed to stay indefinitely. But his steely gaze, »
This one falls into the “Holy shit” category. The roster of films and guests for 2014′s Beyond Fest (returning again to the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian theater) was just announced and well, fright fanatics, it’s looking quite epic indeed. Premieres of films such as the Town That Dreaded Sundown remake, V/H/S:viral, Horns, and even a live score to accompany the new 4K transfer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There is so much going on during the festival’s running time (September 25th-October 4) that you have to read the lineup for yourself. Jeebus. Everything from a Halloween screening with John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis in attendance, the premiere of the Richard Stanley Dr. Moreu doc, a Fight Club screening With Palahniuk doing a Q&A afterwards, the list just goes on and on. There’s no way I’ll be missing this one, and if you’re smart (and in the L. »
- Jerry Smith
Beyond Fest returns with a vengeance in Los Angeles later this month, giving genre fans a lineup to look forward to. An eclectic mix of films both old and new are on the menu, with a screening of the Halloween 4k re-master highlighting the events. Halloween fans will also be treated to the first-ever combined appearance by John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis to discuss their horror classic.
Los Angeles – September 4, 2014 - “Beyond Fest and the American Cinematheque announced today that they are partnering for the return of the sophomore festival, Beyond Fest, featuring the best in world genre programming, September 25th – October 4th, 2014 at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets will be available through Fandango today.
Dedicated to delivering the elite in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and badass cinema, this year’s Beyond Fest programming reflects a globally diverse and eclectic mix of premieres, rare repertory screenings, and special events, »
- Derek Anderson
The Daniel Radcliffe-starring Horns, the horror anthology sequels V/H/S Viral and ABCs of Death 2, and the documentary Lost Soul — which concerns the infamous production of box-office bomb The Island of Dr. Moreau — will all play at this year’s Los Angeles genre festival Beyond Fest, which announced its lineup today. Other notable attractions include a screening of Halloween attended by both director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis, another documentary called My Life Directed By Nicholas Winding Refn from the titular Drive filmmaker’s wife, and the terror tale Starry Eyes, in which an actress’ desperate »
- Clark Collis
For those who live in La, October is a great month. Several theaters really orient the month’s programming to horror, the supernatural, and the strange. One of the best recent events in town is Beyond Fest, which in 2014 runs from September 25 to October 4. (Leaving fans the rest of October to enjoy horror […]
- Russ Fischer
On the previous Beyond Fright entry, I wrote about The Huntingtons’ “Let’s Go to Haddonfield“, a song that was written about John Carpenter’s Halloween. For this one, I decided to focus on two songs that went in the direction of somewhere else, that place being Texas. Full of heat, barbecue and some good ol’ fashioned murder by chainsaw. In celebration of Dark Sky Films’ upcoming re-release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (it looks great), this Beyond Fright article isn’t focused on one song, but two, both giving listeners a fun time.
Taken from The Ramones’ 1976 self titled debut album, the fifth track, “Chain Saw” begins with a chainsaw revving, before going into a song about, well,..The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Even the chorus says. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre too my baby away from me, she’ll never get out of there“. “Chain Saw” wasn’t the last »
- Jerry Smith
Beyond Fest makes it return to Los Angeles this month, running September 25th to October 4th at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. And while we're waiting on the full programming reveal - which is coming soon (and I'll tell you now, it's amazing) - I'm going to share a morsel with you right now.
Pencil this date in on your calendar: Wednesday October 1st.
- Ryan Turek
With only 3 days left on kickstarter, Mike Pecci has released a brand new teaser trailer for his upcoming horror film 12 Kilometers.
Director Mike Pecci (Grindhouse Shorts / The Dead Can’t Be Distracted) knows these corridors all too well. While ice skating for the first time earlier this year, Pecci slipped and cracked his skull open, suffering a hematoma and multiple concussions. Five days in intensive care, over two months of recovery time and a flood of painkillers later, a storyline began to emerge in the form of Pecci’s original horror film, “12 Kilometers.”
The strange and creepy footage give us an up-close look at the in-camera creature effects for the film. Beautifully shot blood vessels, and disturbing black oils mixing to create something terrifying! Watch the new trailer then head over to: http://kck.st/1uONYYg You will find all sorts of great videos and incentives including concept art from comic book artist Ben Templesmith. »
- Melissa Howland
Downton Abbey fans may be a tad surprised by Dan Stevens’ recent choice in roles, which include a gun-toting Kentucky army veteran in the bananas action movie The Guest (out Sept. 17) and a New York drug dealer in the Liam Neeson-starring private eye thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones (out Sept. 19). But such projects are very much in the wheelhouse of the man who spent three years playing the period drama’s dashing Matthew Crawley, as this writer discovered when he recently met with the actor for a feature in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. “I’m a genre fan, »
- Clark Collis
The 18-wheeled Pork Chop Express has rumbled deep into another adventure with the trusty Jack Burton behind the wheel. In the new comic book series Big Trouble in Little China, John Carpenter and Eric Powell follow Jack and friends in continued escapades after the events of the 1986 film, and we have a look at the fourth issue that sees Jack and Egg Shen taking a big risk to save their friend Wang Chi.
“Why We Love It: Big Trouble In Little China is one of our favorite cult-classic films because it mashed together ’80s action and supernatural fantasy movies with ’70s kung-fu flicks. This is the first time any new Big Trouble stories have been officially told, and we have the film’s original director, John Carpenter, working with Eric Powell (The Goon) on the story. You can’t beat that!
Why You’LL Love It: Eric Powell is a »
- Derek Anderson
Michael Dougherty's cult classic Trick 'r Treat holds a very special place in the hearts of horror fans. As does the classic John Carpenter film Halloween and the season in which both films are set. Why not bring 'em all together?
Below you'll find a really neat poster from artist SamRaw08, who's brought the best of the aforementioned goodies together! You can buy a physical copy of said poster by clicking on the link we provided you with. It's available in three sizes, each with their own respective price tags.
The Story Of Trick 'R Treat
Although never released in theaters, Trick 'r Treat, the directorial debut of Michael Dougherty that stars Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, Leslie Bibb, and Brian Cox, became a cult classic through its release on DVD, digital platforms, and extensive play in festivals. Additionally, the film received rave reviews for its originality and ambition. The »
- Steve Barton
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