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If you’re like me, your enjoyment of Alfred Hithcock extends well beyond his classic films. Some of my favorite memories are watching the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which, not unlike Twilight Zone, was an anthology series. The difference between the two lay in the genre itself. While Twilight Zone was largely science fiction-based, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was standard mystery — oftentimes with elements of other genres interspersed. In true M. Night Shyamalan fashion, however, each episode would end with an ironic little twist. Occasionally, they’d cause a huge shift in how your perceived the rest of the plot, but most times, they were fun little buttons.
Nowadays, we seem to be coming around to these types of stories, with American Horror Story and Black Mirror perhaps being the best modern examples — and now we may have one more to the slate. Universal Cable Productions is developing a new anthology entitled Welcome to Hitchcock. »
- Joseph Medina
It's no secret that M. Night Shyamalan became a bit of a punching bag after having such a run of remarkable films. He became the punchline reference for ridiculous twist endings. His attempts at big budget movies like The Last Airbender and After Earth were met with scorn. People were ready to write him off completely. And then The Visit came out. The faux documentary about two kids visiting their creepy grandparents was his first movie rated "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes in the 13 years since Signs. It made nearly $100 million around the globe. Sure, it had a twist in it, but it was one that audiences more or less embraced this time around. People started to wonder if the mind behind The Sixth Sense had finally gotten his groove back. Now that we've...
- Peter Hall
Even in the bubble of a film festival, where political discussions tend to revolve around who got invited to which afterparty, the real world intervenes occasionally. So it was yesterday at Fantastic Fest, where a rumor was going around that Monday’s “secret screening” would be the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with live commentary from comedian Doug Benson, who’s been hanging around all week, trailing his signature skunky cloud of smoke behind him. That’s not at all what ended up happening, and just how off base all the predictions were this year—last year’s secret screening title was an open secret hours before its debut—is a testament to how well the festival kept it under wraps.
- Katie Rife
Split is filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan's most terrifying film to date. Granted this opinion is coming from someone who finds The Sixth Sense, while a phenomenal film with a wonderfully choreographed twist, not all that scary, and, though Signs and The Village deliver the thrills, there's nothing on par with Split in terms of how relentless in intensity and so very chilling it is. Shyamalan used to be considered a master of these types of genre films. Although his work has been less than stellar in recent years, the director's filmmaking and storytelling prowess seem to be back in line. Split is his return, and, with a wonderfully creepy turn by James McAvoy in the lead role, Shyamalan's latest ends up being his absolute best horror film to date. And, holy shit, what an ending, but we'll get to that momentarily. McAvoy stars in Split as Kevin, a very troubled, »
- Jeremy Kirk
Every filmmaker finds themselves in a rough patch every now and again, but few directors have had quite as public a rough patch as M. Night Shyamalan. It wasn’t enough that the immensely talented director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs was stumbling with duds like The Lady in the Water and The Last […]
- Jacob Hall
M. Night Shyamalan’s reputation for unexpected plot twists may falter after “Split,” his second collaboration with Blumhouse Productions. “Split” is burdened with a story that treads dully familiar ground. The kidnapped-girls-in-peril thriller strives for originality with a spin on dissociative identity disorder (Did), but instead it plays like a stale, unfunny retread of “United States of Tara.” Only James McAvoy’s multi-faceted performance saves the movie from complete mediocrity.
After a downright wholesome teen birthday party, three girls are kidnapped in broad daylight: friends Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula), and difficult outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Witch”). Their captor (McAvoy) locks the trio in a windowless room, then proceeds to frighten and baffle them. One minute he’s bespectacled and obsessive about cleanliness, the next he’s presenting as female, and later he acts like a nine-year-old boy.
- Jette Kernion
Three high-school girls become prisoners of a very peculiar captor in Split, a new thriller by M. Night Shyamalan that — wait for it — has a supernatural twist or two in store for viewers. Mental health advocates won't be giving any awards to a film that plays up fears surrounding those with dissociative identity disorder (Did), more commonly known as split-personality disorder — at least no one refers to our troubled villain, energetically played by James McAvoy, as "schizophrenic," which is a different thing entirely. But genre fans should embrace what is arguably the director's most satisfying picture
- John DeFore
Based on the Richard Ford novel, the film follows a boy who witnesses his parents’ marriage falling apart after his mom finds another man.
The movie is produced by Andrew Duncan and Alex Saks for June Pictures, and Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker for Nine Stories. Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, and Dano will also produce, while Zoe Kazan and Eddie Vaisman are executive producing. Wme Global handles the domestic rights to the film.
The script was co-written by Dano and Kazan.
Fairly new to the world of film, Oxenbould broke out as one the title character in Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” opposite Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. He followed that up with another starring role in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit. »
- Justin Kroll
Fall's newest TV trend? Pilot twists. And time travel, but that's another story. Both NBC's This Is Us and Fox's Pitch, two of the best pilots out of the crop for the 2016 fall TV premieres, feature twists that sort of change the game for each respective series. Yes, a family drama and a sports drama have twists that took viewers by surprise in the M. Night Shyamalan sort of way. It's not a coincidence—both shows hail from Crazy, Stupid, Love's Dan Fogelman. Warning, spoilers for the series premieres of This Is Us and Pitch. NBC's This Is Us, which is easily the next Parenthood in terms of cries and feelings it'll bring out in you, tells the story of several people with »
Prank shows are sources of laughter and entertainment, but what if they took a violent, bloody turn? This frightening "what if?" is at the core of Scare Campaign, the new film from Australian filmmakers Colin and Cameron Cairnes (100 Bloody Acres) that will be making its Us digital premiere this October:
Press Release: Los Angeles, CA – September 19, 2016 – Studio71 (S71), the digital entertainment company and multichannel network of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, and YouTube pranking sensation Matteo Moroni “aka” Dm Pranks today announced the U.S. digital premiere of the Australian horror thriller Scare Campaign on Monday, October 24, 2016. Written and directed by brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes, the team behind 2013’s critically acclaimed 100 Bloody Acres, Scare Campaign explores what happens when a reality TV prank show’s latest victim unexpectedly turns the tables on the cast and crew.
Explains Cameron, "[Scare Campaign] really evolved from us watching YouTube clips – stuff where elaborate pranks get a bit out of hand, »
- Derek Anderson
Though he’s expressed an interest in reprising the role of Professor X further down the line, following Apocalypse, James McAvoy’s tenure in Fox’s lucrative X-Men universe has effectively been put on ice for the time being, thereby allowing the Scottish actor to seek pastures anew.
Of course, his ties to the mutant franchise have in no way prevented McAvoy from snapping up roles in the past, after featuring across Victor Frankenstein, Filth and Danny Boyle’s psychological thriller Trance over the years. Nevertheless, Deadline reports that the actor is now circling back to full-blown sci-fi territory for Extinction, a new action-thriller hailing from Good Universe and Mandeville Films.
A self-confessed science fiction nut himself, McAvoy will anchor the pic as a troubled man fending off unsettling nightmares of his family in peril. That feeling of unease is amplified to the nth degree when an extra-terrestrial force descends into low Earth orbit, »
- Michael Briers
The plot revolves around “a man haunted by nightmares in which his wife is assaulted and who becomes a hero when Earth is invaded by an army bent on destruction.” McAvoy would play the lead, described as “a father and chief mechanic at a factory who realizes those invading might not be what he expected.”
McAvoy was most recently seen as Charles Xavier in this year’s X-Men: Apocalypse; his upcoming projects include M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, Wim Wenders’ Submergence, and a TV adaptation of Watership Down.
- Gary Collinson
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
As expected, Labor Day weekend wasn’t good for the two new wide releases at all, although the romantic drama The Light Between Oceans (DreamWorks), starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, ended up doing far better of the two. Also as expected, Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe (Screen Gems) won the weekend with a four-day total of $19.7 million, a little less than I predicted. The Light Between Oceans ended up with slightly over $6 million, roughly the same as my original prediction but 20th Century Fox’s thriller Morgan, starring Kate Mara, bomb-bomb-bombed with a ridiculously bad four-day opening of just $2.5 million in its first four days. The Mexican comedy No Manches Frida (Lionsgate/Pantelion) ended up faring better in just 362 theaters, »
- Edward Douglas
To celebrate the release of Unspoken, now available on digital download and DVD, we have a copy of the DVD up for grabs courtesy of Arrow Films!
A family move into a house where the previous occupants disappeared without a trace over a decade ago, in this relentlessly chilling fright flick from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious.
Director Sheldon Wilson’s debut horror film, the cult hit Shallow Ground from 2004, was an extraordinary, groundbreaking genre movie. Achieving incredible results from a very low budget, it won the Best Feature prize at Edinburgh’s prestigious Dead By Dawn film festival and was described by Empire magazine as having “a grim wit, grisly edge, creepy score and a disconcerting denouement”.
With his latest terror outing, pairing with the producer of the Insidious and Paranormal Activity films, Wilson has done it again with this supremely scary haunted house flick, taking elements »
- Gary Collinson
You may recall a time when we brought you news that Tomorrow Studios, undeterred by Matt Reeves’ own Hollywood remake, had snapped up rights to Let The Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s beloved horror romance novel.
That was almost a full year ago at this stage, but Deadline brings word that the small-screen project has now exploded into life, landing a pilot order at TNT. Criminal Minds and Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis remains attached at the helm of this new take, one that is aiming to tap into the core tents of Lindqvist’s acclaimed vampire love story. First published ten years ago, it’s a novel that is held in high regard for its ability to “combine elements of horror, revenge thriller and adolescent romance into an unforgettable and truly unsettling tale.”
- Michael Briers
Tony Sokol Aug 30, 2016
TNT has put in an order for a pilot for Let the Right One In, the best-selling vampire novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. The screenplay for the pilot was written by Criminal Minds and Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis.
“Let the Right One In combines elements of horror, revenge thriller and adolescent romance into an unforgettable and truly unsettling tale,” Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming at TNT, said in a statement. “This novel is a watershed of rich storytelling, making it an abundant source from which Jeff, Marty, Becky and Simon will bring to life in this all-new adaptation.”
Initially set up at A+E Studios, the pilot is being produced by Tomorrow Studios in association with Turner’s Studio T. Davis »
In addition to working with M. Night Shyamalan on a new Tales From the Crypt TV series, TNT is looking to continue expanding their horror programming roster, as the network has now ordered a pilot episode for the TV series Let The Right One In, based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s vampiric novel of the same name.
Press Release (via TheFutonCritic.com): TNT, a division of Turner, has ordered a pilot for Let The Right One In, based on the best-selling novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds, Teen Wolf) wrote the script for the pilot and serves as executive producer with Marty Adelstein (Aquarius, Prison Break, Teen Wolf) and Becky Clements (Aquarius, Last Man Standing) of Tomorrow Studios and Simon Oakes (Women in Black, Let Me In) of Hammer Films. Carl Molinder, who produced the original screenplay, and Alex Brunner (Dark Places) also serve as executive producers. »
- Derek Anderson
TNT has ordered a pilot for a series based on the vampire novel “Let The Right One In,” the cabler announced on Monday. The TV adaptation is being developed by “Teen Wolf” and “Criminal Minds” creator Jeff Davis.
Based on the best-seller from Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, “Let The Right One In” is an eerie drama about a young boy, long tormented by his classmates, who finds solace in a friendship with a charismatic female vampire who appears to be near his age. The vampire settles into the boy’s small Vermont town with her mysterious caretaker, just as a series of bizarre murders begins attracting the attention of law enforcement. The 2004 book inspired a 2008 Swedish horror film.
Davis penned the pilot and will serve as an executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Aquarius,” “Prison Break,” “Teen Wolf”) and Becky Clements (“Aquarius,” “Last Man Standing”) of Tomorrow Studios, plus Simon Oakes (“Women in Black,” “Let Me In »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Summer’s almost gone. This season’s ups and downs charted a confusing course on the state of the movie business. This weekend at least was mostly positive, as Sony’s “Don’t Breathe” (Sony) came on surprisingly strong. It’s the latest of several superior horror films to catch on with the public, with an almost unheard of 7% jump Saturday from its initial strong Friday (plus previews) numbers.
Lionsgate filled in with their latest Jason Statham action release “Mechanic: Resurrection.” Independently financed by Millennium with a reduced exposure for Lionsgate, it is at the low end of their films together. Still it added $7.5 million to a Top Ten total that looks like a record for the last weekend before the Labor Day holiday (unadjusted).
The Top Ten
1. Don’t Breathe (Sony) New Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 71; Est. budget: $10 million
$26,115,000 in 3,051 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $8,559; Cumulative: $26,115,000
- Tom Brueggemann
Listen. We're way past the halfway point in 2016. Try as you might to soak up these last few months of the year, it's hard not to look ahead to next. And, well, as the weather gets colder and the wind picks up, we've got one thing on our minds: horror movies. We've burned through quite a bit of 2016's chilling scary movie slate, and with 2017 titles already popping up - like M. Night Shyamalan's newest film, Split, and the remake of Stephen King's It - we figured it's high time to give you a rundown of what's in store . . . so far. »
- Ryan Roschke
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