20 items from 2015
Family Matters: Wolfe’s Unsettling Debut a Thriller with a Mean Streak
Premiering in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, director Daniel Wolfe’s directorial debut, Catch Me Daddy, is most likely to inspire awe or ire as a denuded genre thriller, pared down to the barest essentials of abject miserabilism. There’s no one to innately empathize with, beyond being exposed to a central victim whom we must logically root for given her ambitious rebellion against the patriarchal straightjacket she was weaned from. Unfolding with methodical calm, the first time filmmaker manages to instill a mounting dread thanks to surprising, even shocking moments of gruesome violence, and that’s despite its lack of emotional posturing. Down and out working class folks thrust into dire straits is the name of the game here, and though a bit of additional context would’ve enhanced the basic premise, »
- Nicholas Bell
With writer/director David Robert Mitchell's Cannes-premiered "It Follows" bringing in over $16 million at the domestic box office on a slim $2 million budget, the theatrical market seems ripe for another arty horror movie hit to arise. So which of this year's festival favorites could follow (no pun intended) in "It Follows'" footsteps? With the close of the 3rd annual Stanley Film Festival on Sunday, below I've pegged six buzzed-about horror titles from this year's three major festivals so far (Sundance, SXSW and Stanley) that could become the next unlikely breakout in theaters. "The Witch" Director: Robert Eggers Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie Synopsis: New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. Screened at: Sundance »
- Chris Eggertsen
20 year old newcomer Sally Messham, a final year student at Rada, has been cast as Jane Watkins, the daughter of exorcist Merrily, in ITV Encore’s new three-part drama Midwinter of the Spirit.
Sally (represented by Curtis Brown), will leave Rada early to take up the role alongside the double BAFTA award-winning actress Anna Maxwell-Martin who leads the cast as Merrily Watkins, a single mother who isn’t your average country vicar.
Merrily’s newly acquired training has put her on the dark side of the pulpit. She’s become one of the few women priests working as an exorcist - a job increasingly mistrusted by the modern Church and rarely talked about, even though it operates in virtually every diocese in the UK.
Merrily is deeply human in her doubts and scepticism, but her knowledge of the paranormal underworld brings her to the notice of local police who need »
- email@example.com (ScreenTerrier)
The pair will lead the three-part supernatural crime drama, which begins production in Herefordshire this month.
The series follows country vicar Merrily Watkins (Maxwell-Martin), who is one of the few women priests working as an exorcist in the UK. When a grisly murder takes place in her local area, the police come calling for her assistance.
Threlfall, who previously starred in Shameless, will play Rev Huw Owen, Watkins's mentor.
Also confirmed to star in the drama are Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey), Ben Bailey Smith (Law and Order: UK), Leila Mimmack (Home Fires), Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones), Simon Trinder (Dalziel and Pascoe), Oengus MacNamara »
The Witch (2015) Film Review from the 37th Annual Sundance Film Festival, a movie directed by Robert Eggers, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson. With hard-to-understand Old English dialogue, a slew of unanswered questions, and a squandered ending, The Witch merely [...]
Continue reading: Film Review: The Witch: Disappointing Bore, Story Be Damned [Sff 2015] »
- Drew Stelter
Spwa bought rights to the U.K, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Australia/New Zealand. Westend Film is handling international sales.
“The Silent Storm” follows a couple living on a remote Scottish island with the woman caught between her minister husband and the delinquent sent to live with them. Kate Dickie and Ross Anderson also star.
The film was executive produced and financed by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their Eon Productions, best known for the James Bond franchise. Nicky Bentham produced through her Neon Films.
The film is directed by Corinna McFarlane in her directorial debut.
News was first reported by Deadline. »
- Dave McNary
Last week, "The Witch" burst from Sundance like a bat out of Hell to herald a bold new filmmaking voice in Robert Eggers, who rightly won the best director prize for his elemental, impeccably crafted horror -- dare I say it -- masterpiece. The first-time filmmaker has concocted a witchy brew of madness that bears the mark of a seasoned auteur. Painterly images, ye-olde English, oozing ominous portent and pitch-perfect period detail drive this chilling tale of a family of 17th-century New England settlers pushed to hysteria and violence by the malevolent, titular force nesting in the woods. Anya-Taylor Joy gives a breakout performance as the teenaged daughter of puritan parents, played by the brutally committed Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson. Director Eggers knows when and how to draw upon his filmmaking forbears to take his story to ravishingly beautiful, terrifying heights. "The Witch" is simply one of the best horror films of the decade, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
William (Ralph Ineson) has taken issue with the behavior of his village’s leadership and believes they’re not properly following the word of God, but instead of changing their ways his complaints result in the banishment of him and his family. He, along with his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie) and five children, moves out to a solitary patch of land bordering a dark forest to begin anew, but the pressures of leading a pious life take their toll on the entire family. To be fair, the witch in the woods who abducts, murders and bathes in his infant son’s blood isn’t helping matters. It’s safe to say that writer/director Robert Eggers‘ feature debut, The Witch, giveth no shites about your genre expectations. The film is a powerful slow burn dripping in period detail, dialogue authenticity and atmospheric dread, and while it moves at its own pace the end result is like a »
- Rob Hunter
Updated with details and quotes: The Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony tonight in Park City saw a dramatic dual decision and strong political voices to put a cap on a hot-deals festival. Like last year, when Whiplash took both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award on its way to an Best Picture Oscar nomination, the much-sought Me And Earl And The Dying Girl took both this year.
“I want to dedicate this to all the young filmmakers in my hometown of Laredo, Texas,” said director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon onstage. Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush teamed to land the pic earlier this week after frenzied bidding, with a 2015 release planned. The Jesse Andrews script follows Greg, who is coasting through senior year of high school as anonymously as possible, avoiding social interactions like the plague while secretly making spirited, bizarre films with Earl, his only friend. But »
- Dominic Patten and Patrick Hipes
Welcome once again to "This Week in Horror," HitFix's ongoing series that rounds up the most pertinent fright-genre news to break over the last seven days. In this week's edition: the reboot of a beloved slasher title gets a big push (into 2016), that long-gestating "Crow" reboot loses another star, and an acclaimed Netflix anthology series may be getting a U.S. version. #1 "Friday the 13th," "Paranormal Activity 6" and "Rings" do the release-date shuffle Paramount did the franchise-movie shuffle this week with the latest installments of three major horror series: their mysterious "Friday the 13th" reboot (moved from November 13, 2015 to May 13, 2016); "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" (moved from March 13, 2015 to October 23, 2015); and "Rings," the belated third entry in the haunted VHS tape franchise, which will take "Friday the 13th's" November 13, 2015 slot. Let's hear it for unoriginality! [Deadline] #2 Luke Evans is no longer Eric Draven Luke Evans has dropped out of Relativity's remake of "The Crow, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Back in November it was announced that Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings star Sean Bean is set to star in an upcoming six-part retelling of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror classic Frankenstein, and now ITV has revealed the full cast and synopsis for the drama series The Frankenstein Chronicles.
Set in Georgian London in 1827, The Frankenstein Chronicles has been created by Emmy nominated director and writer Benjamin Ross (The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, Torte Bluma) and writer Barry Langford (Torte Bluma). In the drama’s opening sequences, the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel (Tom Ward), following a successful operation by Thames River Police to apprehend a gang of opium smugglers, recruits Marlott (Sean Bean). As he stands on the water’s edge, Marlott makes a shocking discovery. The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse, he »
- Gary Collinson
Universal Pictures International Productions has acquired foreign rights to Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” in a deal that sources peg at $1.5 million, multiple individuals familiar with the negotiations have told TheWrap.
The film’s U.S. rights were acquired by A24 and DirecTV for roughly $1.5 million as well.
Set in a quaint New England town in the 1630’s, “The Witch” follows a family who begin to suspect the oldest daughter of being a witch following the disappearance of their infant son.
- Jeff Sneider
With no stars, the slow-burn period horror movie will represent a significant marketing challenge, though it will emerge from Sundance with strong buzz, including rave reviews from The Playlist, Hitfix and Badass Digest.
Set in a quaint New England town in the 1630’s, “The Witch” follows a family who begin to suspect the oldest daughter of being a »
- Jeff Sneider
"Robert Eggers’s impressive debut feature," The Witch, "walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche," writes Variety's Justin Chang. Jordan Hoffman for the Guardian: "In time we learn their names—the scraggly haired father William (Ralph Ineson), his sour wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), verge-of-puberty son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), somewhat rowdy twins Mercy and Jonas (Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson) and baby Sam…. What’s striking is the high-wire tension Eggers maintains." We're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
Park City - One of the downsides of spending a life mainlining genre films is that there comes a point where you start to feel like you've seen everything and there's no way to be surprised. "The Witch" surprised me. Quite a bit. Writer/director Robert Eggers deserves accolades for crafting something that feels timeless. His "New England folk tale" begins with a family standing before a Puritan court in a small plantation town in 1630. William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Kate Dickie) stand accused of blasphemy, and William refuses to bend to the will of the court, convinced that he is a true Christian in a way that none of them can be. They are ejected from the community, and William sees it as an opportunity. He leads his family out into the wilderness, where they find a cleared area on the edge of a massive forest. They build their home there, »
- Drew McWeeny
Park City is open for business, and word on the street says buyers are already courting edgy, historical horror throwback "The Witch." Distributors caught an early glimpse of the film on Thursday ahead of its Tuesday afternoon premiere at Eccles Theatre. Produced by Parts and Labor’s Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy and directed by Brooklyn-based designer turned first-time director Robert Eggers, this Us Dramatic Competition entry looks to be a witchy brew of style and scares. Taking cues from Kubrick and Bergman, "The Witch" recreates Puritan New England, just before the religious hysteria of the 1692 Salem trials, where a colonial family has settled on a fledgling farm at the edge of a forest. Doom and dread set in as food grows scarce, someone goes missing and a malevolent, wood-dwelling presence encroaches. The cast includes Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie and Harvey Scrimshaw. Though the early trade reviews, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
A fiercely committed ensemble and an exquisite sense of historical detail conspire to cast a highly atmospheric spell in “The Witch,” a strikingly achieved tale of a mid-17th-century New England family’s steady descent into religious hysteria and madness. Laying an imaginative foundation for the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials that would follow decades later, writer-director Robert Eggers’ impressive debut feature walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche. With its formal, stylized diction and austere approach to genre, this accomplished feat of low-budget period filmmaking will have to work considerable marketing magic to translate appreciative reviews into specialty box-office success, but clearly marks Eggers as a storyteller of unusual rigor and ambition.
A New England-born, Brooklyn-based talent who started out in the theater, Eggers has several film »
- Justin Chang
Lankester is a young woman who became an insider atop the largest illegal sports betting organization in the U.S., she eventually became a victim of this dangerous world of corruption and ultimately escaped to now live in Switzerland. [Source: Deadline]
Moises Arias ("The Kings of Summer") has joined the cast of Timur Bekmambetov's historical epic "Ben-Hur" at MGM and Paramount Pictures. Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, and Toby Kebbell also star in the film which begins shooting shortly in Europe.
Arias will play Gestas, a teenage Jewish zealot whose family has been murdered by the Romans, who is desperate to fight for his people’s freedom. [Source: THR]
- Garth Franklin
In case you need reminding, The Frankenstein Chronicles is a six-part period-set crime drama currently in production at Rainmark Films, for the eventual destination of ITV.
We already know that the mighty Sean Bean will play Inspector John Marlott, who will be in pursuit of ‘a chilling and diabolical foe,’ who – at a long shot - might just be Frankenstein or his monster, we reckon.
Now, ITV has revealed the expanded cast including some stellar names from much-loved TV shows. Among them are some geek-friendly names like Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn in Game Of Thrones), Patrick Fitzsymons (Reginald Lannister in Game Of Thrones), Ryan Sampson (who played smarmy teen genius Luke in Doctor Who’s The Sontaran Strategem), Charlie Creed-Miles (Billy Kimber of Peaky Blinders), Ed Stoppard (Lemay in The »
The cast of ITV's The Frankenstein Chronicles has been announced.
Sean Bean will star as Inspector John Marlott, who will pursue a terrifying foe through 1827 London, in what is described as a mix of the investigative and horror genres.
The six-part period drama sees Marlott recruited by Home Secretary Robert Peel after an assembly of body parts is discovered, arranged in a bizarre attempt at a human form.
He soon finds himself tracking down a dangerous and unhinged killer.
Also appearing in the series will be Snatch star Robbie Gee, Cilla's Ed Stoppard, Anna Maxwell Martin, Charlie Creed-Miles, Elliot Cowan, Hugh O'Conor, Joe Tucker, Lalor Roddy, Patrick Fitzsymons, Richie Campbell, Ryan Sampson, Samuel West, Shaun Mason, Steve Wilson, Steven Berkoff, Stuart Graham, Tom Ward and Vanessa Kirby.
ITV director of drama Steve November »
20 items from 2015
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