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A strangely faithful remake of the 1976 De Palma horror classic has little new to say
From the dreamy slo-mo of its opening shower scene, drenched in Pino Donaggio's score, through the split-screen sensation of its fiery central party piece, to the final graveside "jumper", Brian De Palma's 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's slim first published novel hit all the high notes.
This presents something of a problem for Kimberly Peirce, leaving her update very little space in which to "reimagine" the tale of a bullied adolescent whose repressed rage manifests itself in telekinetic revenge. Yes, we get the inevitable addition of mobile-phone footage that allows Carrie's initial humiliation to spread around the school like modern digital wildfire. And yes, the fiercely talented Chloë Grace Moretz is the first actress to play Carrie close to her actual age (both Sissy Spacek and TV remake star Angela Bettis were in »
- Mark Kermode
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, »
Former music video director Mark Hartley came to prominence, at least to me, in 2008 when his wonderful documentary Not Quite Hollywood, which detailed the “Ozploitation” genre, exploded on film blogs and movie sites across the globe. He then followed that up with another documentary, Machete Maidens Unleashed, a look at Filipino genre filmmaking, in 2010. I was fortunate enough to see that doc on the big screen at 2011′s Frightfest Glasgow and now, some two years later Hartley’s feature film debut Patrick, a remake of Richard Franklin’s seminal 1978 shocker, makes it’s UK debut as part of the 2013 Frightfest Halloween All-Nighter.
It’s been some years since I’ve seen Franklin’s original film and it’s Italian lensed “sequel” Patrick Lives Again, but it’s not like anyone can »
- Phil Wheat
The release of Kimberly Peirce’s faithful, solid, efficient, and therefore essentially pointless remake of Carrie gives me the opportunity to look back at the 1976 original, which is still one of my favorite films — and, in fact, one of the most important movies of my life. It’s one of the two films, the other being Robert Altman’s Nashville, that made me want to be a critic. And that’s because Carrie did more than thrill, frighten, and captivate me; it sent a volt charge through my system that rewired my imagination, showing me everything that movies could be. »
- Owen Gleiberman
As yet another remake of Carrie heads into theaters this weekend, you may be wondering what the man who brought us the original film adaptation of Stephen King's novel, Brian De Palma, has been up to. It's been several years since he's given us one of his patented thrillers, but his latest flick, Passion, is about to change that.
Read on for details about the home video release of Passion!
From the Press Release
Two beautiful young corporate executives engage in a dangerous and tantalizing competition that will take a deeply personal and violent turn in Passion, the wildly received new thriller from suspense master Brian De Palma. The film, starring Rachel McAdams (as she's never been seen before) and Noomi Rapace, arrives on high-definition Blu-ray and DVD on November 5, 2013, from eOne. The SRPs are, respectively, $29.98 and $24.98.
Forty years after his breakthrough thriller Sisters put him in the suspense/horror pantheon, »
- John Squires
From the Press Release
On December 17th, 2013, bring home the Klaus Kinski starring Crawlspace, the story of a demented son of a Nazi surgeon who runs an apartment house for women. His tenants, however, are unaware the house is equipped with secret passageways, hidden rooms and devices for torture and murder!
Also available on December 17th is the terrifying coming of age tale The Beast Within, the story of 18-year-old Michael MacCleary, who experiences growing pains of a most shocking sort!
Available for the first time on Blu-ray, each movie collection boasts original theatrical key art, »
- Uncle Creepy
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
Peter Bradshaw on horror
Horror crashes through boundaries and challenges the prohibitions of taste and thinkability in a way few other genres can match. Classics of the genre were produced in cinema's very earliest days – the vampire nightmare Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari from the world of German Expressionism.
Later, Universal Pictures had smash hits with iconic versions of Dracula, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein. Roger Corman's movies would demonstrate the sheer trashy power of horror, and Hitchcock tapped into this B-picture aesthetic with his own low-budget masterpiece, Psycho, which popularised the psychological horror film, taking the genre away from its supernatural roots – although William Friedkin's masterpiece, The Exorcist, took it right back there again. »
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by Lawrence D. Cohen
This classic horror movie based on Stephen King’s first novel, about a pubescent girl with telekinetic powers, remains Brian De Palma’s best film. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, a shy, mousy teenager who is the victim of both her evangelical mother, Margaret (Piper Laurie), and of her cruel high school classmates, who bully her constantly. Her mom shelters Carrie in a closed-off, claustrophobic household, due to her psychotic fear of sexuality and twisted religious beliefs. She punishes the girl repeatedly, and prohibits her to develop friendships with other teens. As a result of ignorance and religious guilt, Carrie remains shunned by society, and viewed as an outsider who is the butt of practical jokes. When the school’s popular girl, Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) organizes a wicked prank at the school prom, Carrie lashes out in a horrifying manner, »
- Ricky da Conceição
It will kick off nearly 10 days of fantasy films including features shot in Spain.
These will include the world premiere of Mindscape, the feature directorial debut of Jorge Dorado, who has previously worked as an assistant director on films such Pedro Almodovar’s Bad Education and Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone.
The English-language thriller stars Mark Strong as a man with the ability to enter peoples’ memories who takes on the case of a troubled 16-year-old girl, played by Taissa Farmiga, to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Juan Sarda)
Cambodian-set surreal love story Ruin has won another international festival award.
The film collected the prize for best concept and cinematography at the International 2morrow film festival in Moscow. Michael Cody, who co-directed the film with Amiel Courtin-Wilson, was on hand to accept the award.
Ruin won the special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. It.s screening this week in Chile.s Festival Internacional de Cine Valdivia and in November will participate in Ireland's Cork International Film Festival. Courtin-Wilson tells If the film will be released in Australia by Madman Entertainment after it plays at Oz festivals next year.
Mark Hartley.s Patrick is competing at the Sitges horror/thriller festival in Spain alongside films such as Robert Rodriguez.s Machete Kills, Nicolas Winding Refn.s Only God Forgives and Eli Roth.s The Green Inferno.
- Don Groves
If there’s one thing you can say about the Frightfest Halloween All-Nighter it’s that the one-night only event has provided some of the most diverse horror line-ups to be screened theatrically in its meagre seven year existence – and 2013′s line-up is no different, with screenings of the eagerly awaited remake of Aussie horror Patrick, from director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed); Soulmate, from actress turned director Axelle Carolyn (Centurion); and the first film from former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash’s new production outfit Slasher Films, Nothing Left To Fear. And as if those weren’t enough, this years retro screening is the awesome, and formerly banned in the UK, Mark of the Devil, from director Michael Armstrong.
This years London event is scheduled for Saturday 26th October from 6.30pm and will be located for the third year at the Vue, West End. Tickets (costing »
- Phil Wheat
Written and directed by Brian De Palma
Noomi Rapace gracefully, viciously owns her role as the ambitious Isabelle;, ascending a multinational company ladder one rung below the sociopathic succubus Christine (a sinisterly focused McAdams, as though Mean Girls grew up). Professional power plays of catty words and sexual possession are maneuvered, and soon love, humiliation, hallucination and murder are on the table. Contemporary life’s integration with communication technology grows exponentially treacherous as the characters manipulate it against one another – a motif Sound on Sight learned during a post-show Q&A that the auteur conjured when in a café, hearing a phone ring and ring and ring while its owner sifted through a multitude of devices to determine which needed answering.
- Tom Stoup
Passion Fruit: De Palma’s Return to Genre a Flimsy Revamp
Arguably one of the greatest American directors from the mid 70s to late 80s, Brian De Palma returns with Passion, a remake of the late Alain Corneau’s last film, Love Crime (2010), with the end result unfortunately feeling dead on arrival. Part of the problem might be comparisons to the already pulpy but superior Gallic original, but De Palma, never a stranger to retooling material he’s attracted to (always criticized for borrowing heavily from Hitchcock and Eisenstein), here only manages to create a trashy, stale revamp that plays out nearly exactly the same way as the film it apes. Doubles have always been a favorite motif of his, and perhaps this is the unkempt sister image of Love Crime, escaping from behind the mirror.
- Nicholas Bell
Following an extensive stint during the 1980’s and early 1990’s purveying iconic crime dramas – works that would all but define his career – Brian De Palma as of late seems infatuated with deeply seeded noir and twisting thrillers with a noticeable erotic leaning. Passion is his third late stage foray (after both Femme Fatale and The Black Dhalia) into this sordid world. And while not as woefully misguided as that latter period effort, this remake of the 2010 French film Crime d’amour is more laughable than thrilling. As the dunderheaded revelations pile up against its debauched backdrop, Passion plays out more like a made for television adaptation of an erotic novel than a riveting tale of corporate backstabbing and misplaced trust.
Forever the visual storyteller, De Palma and cinematographer José Luis Alcaine certainly don’t skimp on style and unique, expressive shots and interesting alterations to the colour palates of different scenes. »
- Simon Brookfield
Starring Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams, Passion (2012) sees American director Brian De Palma return to his favourite stomping ground of the overblown psychosexual thriller, a sub-genre which he made his own with such schlocky delights as Body Double, Dressed to Kill and Blow Out. The 71-year-old director spoke with John Bleasdale at last year's Venice Film Festival about the changing film industry, the impact of technology and why he should have really been a silent film director. Five years after 2007's angry Iraq War j'accuse Redacted, Passion - an English-language remake of Alain Corneau's 2010 thriller Love Crime (Crime d'Amour) - sees De Palma in a more playful mood.
"Passion is a good mystery story," the director explained on the Lido. "I liked working with women. I set out to make what I thought was a clever mystery even cleverer. Redacted is completely driven by men and so making this we're doing the opposite. »
- CineVue UK
★☆☆☆☆ Respected seventies auteur Brian De Palma returns from the creative wilderness (his last feature was the 2007 Iraq War drama Redacted) with Passion (2012), a remake of 2010 French thriller Love Crime. Unfortunately, despite a sense of the director going back to basics, the end results are far from satisfying and fail to evoke memories of his older, superior work. Noomi Rapace is Isabelle, an up-and-coming Berlin advertising exec who is forever hemmed in by her controlling boss, Christine (Rachel McAdams). Their relationship is further frayed when Christine takes credit for one of her employee's campaigns.
Undeterred, Isabelle decides to use her own resources to ensure her work is recognised, which leads to both a professional and personal betrayal. Soon, Christine begins formulating revenge of her own and the psychological battles commence, with disastrous results. Some have trumpeted Passion as a return to form for De Palma, and ostensibly, he appears to be making concessions for his older, »
- CineVue UK
(Brian De Palma, 1980, Arrow, 18)
Of the generation of confident, bearded, cine-literate film-school graduates dubbed the Movie Brats who set out to take over Hollywood in the 1970s (Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Milius, Lucas et al), none was more technically accomplished or referential than Brian De Palma. His work has been prolific and uneven, with mainstream successes like The Untouchables (1987) and Mission: Impossible (1996), and mainstream failures, most notably The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). His best films were made between his version of Stephen King's Carrie (1976) and the Vietnam-set Casualties of War (1989). His most daring films are two brilliant thrillers – Dressed to Kill (1980) and Blow Out (1981).
The Blow Out DVD appeared earlier this year. Dressed to Kill, his masterly homage to Psycho (with major references to Vertigo and North By Northwest), is out this week accompanied by revealing interviews with De Palma, his producer and stars. This ingenious erotic thriller full of unexpected »
- Philip French
Chicago – Brian De Palma returns to what he does best after a few notable failures in the last decade, producing his best work since 2002’s “Femme Fatale” and arguably returning to form in the surprisingly effective thriller “Passion.”
It’s certainly not the home run that fans of “Dressed to Kill” or “Blow Out” still hold out hope for the director to deliver but it’s proof that this very stylish filmmaker hasn’t completely thrown in the towel like some of his ‘70s and ‘80s peers. It starts a little slow and ends a little crazy but there’s more to like about “Passion” than I ever would have expected. The film is now available On Demand and will be released in select markets tomorrow, August 2, 2013. It’s worth a look.
On its surface, “Passion” seems to be a pretty straightforward vengeance thriller. Of course, De Palma doesn’t make straightforward films, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Each week we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the home entertainment offerings, reviewing and rating the films and the special features packed onto the discs.
Release of the Week
Steven Soderbergh reunites with writer Scott Z. Burns to tell the tale of another kind of deadly contagion in the world of pharmaceutical treatment with Side Effects. Dependency of one kind or another, and the moral wasteland of the modern medical landscape are in play here. Soderbergh delivers another cracking thriller which benefits from a fine lead performance from Rooney Mara.
It is her relationship with Jude Law’s Dr. Banks which gives this suspenseful mystery its grounding. The duplicity hinted at from both sides has shades of Hitchcock at his finest and Soderbergh has a knack of finding the exact moment to knock his audience out of its complacency. »
- Adam Lowes
One of De Palma’s best loved films, Dressed To Kill has been lovingly re-mastered by MGM studios, and will finally be available uncut and on blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Arrow’s deluxe edition of the film will come loaded with an exclusive selection of special features and bonus material.
Starring legendary British actor Michael Caine (The Italian Job, Get Carter) alongside Nancy Allen (Carrie, Blow Out) and Angie Dickenson (Point Blank, The Killers), Dressed To Kill begins as sexually frustrated housewife Kate Miller (Dickenson) consults her psychiatrist about her husband’s lacklustre performance in the bedroom. Following the session with Dr Elliot (Caine), Kate silently seduces a stranger in a New York Art gallery, before going back to his place. »
- Matt Holmes
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