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It’s been a good sixteen years since the found footage masterpiece, The Blair Witch Project, came out and helped spark a sub-genre that has yet to fade away. For actor Joshua Leonard, the 1999 film helped kickstart an acting career that is still going strong, with roles in everything from Adam Green’s Hatchet, the horror comedy Bitter Feast and the teenager-aimed hit If I Stay, to roles in TV shows like Hung and Bates Motel. More recently, Leonard appeared in the “requel” (a remake and sequel at the same time) of the 1976 terrifying film, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, with the new version having its feet firmly planted within the meta-approach.
Joshua was nice enough to chat with us a bit about the film, and how The Blair Witch Project is just as effective today as it was in 1999. Read on!
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is an interesting one, »
- Jerry Smith
This a week of releases that really spread all across the board, with everything from Scream Factory’s releases of Dark Summer and Alien Outpost, to the Schwarzenegger-led zombie drama Maggie, and tons of other films that really give cinephiles a solid amount of variety to choose from. We thought we’d take a few of the films hitting shelves this week and give you fright fanatics a heads up on which ones are ones to pick up and perhaps some of the ones that you might want to wait for Redbox for. Read on!
Aliens and ghosts and robots fill up Scream Factory’s three releases this week, with Jabbar Raisani’s Fx-driven Alien Outpost, Stuart Gordon’s Robot Jox and the eerie and effective Paul Solet film Dark Summer. Both films are very solid entries into their respective genres, »
- Jerry Smith
The hardships of starring in a found-footage horror film: young unknown actors tasked with screaming and crying and shouting all while running around before their inevitable demise at the hands of some unseen (always off-camera) malevolent ghost/alien/spirit/genie/demon; but more than likely a ghost… For the sake of ‘verisimilitude’, much of this action is done via shaky cam or extreme close-up – not the most generous of angles for the on-the-rise “star”. There’s something interchangeable about the casts in found footage films. For some odd reason, it’s hard to stand out amongst all the hard-to-see under lit footage. Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity may have started a genre but not many an acting career*. The young and spry cast of The Gallows hopes to reverse this trend and emerge out from the blank terrified faces of found-footage-past. Yes – they run and scream and cry while »
- Tommy Cook
The first week of July sees a ton of genre titles headed home on DVD and Blu-ray including a handful of cult classics including Stuart Gordon’s Robot Jox, The Crimson Cult which co-stars Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination, a pair of 1974 shockers- Deranged and Spasmo- as well as The Killers, which is based on Ernest Hemingway’s chilling tale of the same name and gave the film noir subgenre a boost back in the 1940’s.
For those of you looking for something a little more current, you’ve got Alien Outpost, The Pact 2, Trophy Heads and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent zombie film, Maggie, to look forward to as well. As if that wasn’t enough, we also have last year’s Town that Dreaded Sundown remake is also arriving on both DVD and Blu-ray, with the latter being available exclusively at Best Buy on July 7th. »
- Heather Wixson
The first official clip for The Gallows has been revealed courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures UK. Also in this round-up: The Town That Dreaded Sundown Blu-ray and DVD details and news on the release of Supernatural Mystery Minis.
The Gallows: A Blumhouse film from Warner Bros. Pictures, The Gallows hits theaters in the U.S. on July 10th. Written and directed by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, The Gallows stars Cassidy Gifford, Ryan Shoos, Reese Mishler, and Pfeifer Brown.
"Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone."
Trailer from MTV:
- Tamika Jones
Congrats to Alison Pill and Joshua Leonard! The 29-year-old actress, best known for playing Maggie Jordan on the HBO show The Newsroom, and her 39-year-old beau, who played himself in the 1999 The Blair Witch Project and now plays James Finnigan on Bates Motel, wed over Memorial Day Weekend. The two got engaged more than four months ago. The wedding took place on Sunday at the Grace E. Simons Lodge in Los Angeles. And the bride wore yellow! "We're married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #pillnard," Pill wrote on Instagram, alongside a pic of herself and her new husband, standing in their wedding attire inside a bedroom. The bride wore what appeared to be a vintage, chiffon pastel yellow »
No delays in this Newsroom! HBO actress Alison Pill married her fiance Joshua Leonard on Sunday, May 24, just four months after they announced their engagement. "We're married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" the Newsroom star, 29, announced via Instagram, alongside a photo with her new husband. "#pillnard." The bride also shared a group photo from the weekend with her pals from her bachelorette party on Saturday, May 23. "My most bestest folks," the actress wrote, alongside a snap of herself in a sparkly cowgirl hat. My most bestest folks. #bachelorette A photo posted by [...] »
As it closes in on its second consecutive season-long victory in the key adult 18-49 demographic, NBC unveils a new 2015-16 primetime schedule that combines popular returning series, edge-of-your-seat new dramas, inventive new comedies and season nine of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice. NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the second year in a row after having gone the prior 10 years without an 18-49 win. Through 32 completed weeks of the season, NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults and men 18-34 and men and women 18-49.
In total viewers, NBC is running #2 for the season and within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.8 million vs. 9.5 million), making this season and last NBC's two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07. NBC has won the last three November sweeps in adults 18-49, as well as »
NBC has unveiled its full primetime schedule for the upcoming 2015 TV season, and along with it, they’ve also released full-length trailers for a number of their new shows. Below is the schedule along with descriptions and trailers for their new line-up which includes the mysterious drama Blindspot from Greg Berlanti (the producer of Arrow and The Flash); along with Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, which promises to be good thanks to the multi-talented star at the center of the show; as well as the hotly anticipated Heroes Reborn.
From executive producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “The Mysteries of Laura”) comes “Blindspot”: A vast international plot explodes when a beautiful Jane Doe, completely covered in mysterious, intricate tattoos, is discovered naked in Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there. But there’s one tattoo that is impossible »
Within a week ahead of the annual TV Upfronts, NBC has come right out of the gate ready to announce three new series that they will be ordering for the upcoming 2015 Fall season. According to The Futon Critic, NBC has given series orders to three new drama pilots: Chicago Med (a direct spinoff from Chicago Fire), a new Greg Berlanti mystery thriller series called Blindspot and an additional medical drama titled Heartbreaker starring Melissa George. NBC has already granted series orders for Jennifer Lopez cop drama Shades of Blue, a sequel series for Coach, Eva Longoria’s comedy Telenovela, and an untitled Jerrod Carmichael comedy.
Chicago Med is an obvious pick up for NBC as it expands the brand of Dick Wolf Chicago television universe that began with Chicago Fire in 2012, followed by Chicago Pd in 2014 and now solidifies connections to Wolf’s other ongoing series Law & Order Svu as »
- Jean Pierre Diez
As broadcast television heads toward upfront week, NBC has announced the addition of three brand new dramas to its slate. Having commissioned 19 pilots, the network already sent Shades Of Blue, Coach and Telenovela straight to series. These projects have now been joined by series commitments for Heartbreaker, Blindspot and Dick Wolf’s Chicago Med.
Chicago Med promises to take audiences into the daily chaos of Chicago’s busiest hospital – focusing on the doctors working within. It fits into Dick Wolf’s successful Chicago franchise, with characters from Chicago P.D and Chicago Fire planned to pass through the sterile hallways of the hospital. Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss, and Yaya Dacosta are among the cast of this show that is written by Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. The synopsis clearly sounds like a version of ER made to fit with Wolf’s existing shows, »
- Sarah Myles
NBC is the first broadcaster out of the gate with its 2015-16 season pickups, ordering to series Chicago Fire spinoff No. 2 Chicago Med, the Greg Berlanti mystery thriller Blindspot and medical drama Heartbreaker (Fka Heart Matters).
Related2015 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?
“Chicago Med,” which debuted as a planted episode during the April 7 episode of “Chicago Fire,” is the third series in the “Chicago” franchise, following the first spinoff, “Chicago P.D.” The medical drama, starring Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss and Yaya Dacosta, centers around the city’s most explosive hospital and the doctors who will tackle new cases inspired by topical events, while forging fiery relationships in the pandemonium of the emergency room. Through the series, cast members from Dick Wolf’s other two “Chicago” casts will make appearances, as the Windy City’s police and fire departments intertwine with the team of doctors.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
TV observers know that while upfronts are the week after next, it's actually next week that ends up being the nonstop maelstrom of renewals, pickups and cancellations. NBC, which will already get a headstart on the upfront week by announcing its full schedule next weekend, also decided to get a headstart on series pickups, ordering three drama pilots to series on Friday (May 1) afternoon. Leading the way was no-brainer pickup "Chicago Med," joined by "Blindspot" and "Heartbreaker." Let's get to what's what: "Chicago Med" is, of course, the third head in NBC and Dick Wolf's expanding Windy City Procedural Hydra, having been spun off from "Chicago Fire" earlier this spring. The cast includes Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss and Yaya Dacosta. Even if you missed the nested spinoff episode, you really can guess what "Chicago Med" is about. In addition to the Chicago shows, Dick Wolf »
- Daniel Fienberg
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and starring Addison Timlin, Travis Tope, Gary Cole, Joshua Leonard, Anthony Anderson, Denis O’Hare, Edward Herrmann and Veronica Cartwright, the Jason Blum-produced The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a remake of the seventies horror of the same name is inspired by the unsolved ‘Moonlight Murders’ that took place in the American border town of Texarkana in 1946.
Set in a world where the original film exists and is very much part of the public consciousness, The Town That Dreaded Sundown picks up 65 years later, where the quiet streets of Texarkana are once more plagued by a masked maniac who bears a striking resemblance to the same Phantom Killer who wreaked havoc decades earlier. Is it a copycat crime? Has someone seen the original film too many times, or is it something even more sinister? A lonely high school (Addison Timlin), with dark secrets of her own, »
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called ‘moonlight murders’ begin again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl, with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching him.
Everyone knows A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – including their respective remakes over the last few years. Less known to the general populace is Charles B. Pierce’s 1976 slasher The Town That Dreaded Sundown, in which a hooded killer terrorizes a small town in Arkansas following World War II. Perhaps that’s simply because it’s not as good as such aforementioned classics, but that’s still nothing to stop the perpetual influx of »
- Edward Gardiner
After being a ratings hit for A&E in its first season, Bates Motel saw a significant drop in the ratings in season two. Will the numbers continue to drop this time around? Cancelled or renewed for a fourth season? Stay tuned.
Set in the small town of White Pine Bay, Oregon, Bates Motel tells the story of a teenage Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). Others in the cast include Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell, Kenny Johnson, Nicola Peltz, Ryan Hurst, Tracy Spiridakos, Kevin Rahm, and Joshua Leonard.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show's likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings, the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available. (more…) »
Stars: Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Travis Tope, Joshua Leonard, Andy Abele, Gary Cole, Edward Herrmann, Ed Lauter, Arabella Field, Denis O’Hare | Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Earl E. Smith | Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
When you think about it, John Carpenter and Wes Craven are to blame. Without them we wouldn’t have the stone-cold genre classics Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street. And without them we wouldn’t have their dubious legacy of derivative sequels, remakes and reboots that has plagued multiplexes for going on fifteen years now.
Outside of such an environment, a remake of (or sequel to?) The Town That Dreaded Sundown would never have been greenlit. The blind greed of studio executives is the only logical explanation for this movie’s existence. The creative merit of the enterprise certainly evades me.
Perhaps you need some context; I certainly did. The original was a 1976 slasher »
- Mark Allen
The streaming service reportedly paid in the $1 million range for global rights to the film, which it will premiere in all markets later this year.
American Horror Story actress Taissa Farmiga and Boardwalk Empire alum Ben Rosenfield star in the film as a young couple whose relationship is challenged by job opportunities that send them down different paths. Lindsay Burdge, Joshua Leonard, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Jennifer Lafleur and Peter Vack co-star, while Fidell both helmed and penned the script.
The acquisition isn’t completely out of the blue – Netflix signed a four-picture deal with the Duplass brothers (big names on the festival circuit), who produced 6 Years, at Sundance earlier this year, though this pick-up is not included in that agreement.
Netflix chief content »
- Isaac Feldberg
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Hannah Fidell's 6 Years, which just had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film, which Fidell wrote and directed, stars Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield as a young couple whose relationship begins to unravel. The film also features Lindsay Burdge, Joshua Leonard, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Jennifer Lafleur and Peter Vack. It was produced by Duplass Brothers Productions, Kelly Williams, Jonathan Duffy, and Andrew Logan in association with Arts & Labor. Read More SXSW: Magnolia Picks Up Steve Jobs Documentary Netflix, which signed a four-picture deal with Jay and Mark Duplass in
- Gregg Kilday
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