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17 items from 2016

Noah Silver and Rosie Day Tread ‘Down A Dark Hall’

14 October 2016 3:29 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Noah Silver and Rosie Day have joined the cast of Lionsgate’s upcoming film Down A Dark Hall, opposite Anna Sophia Robb and Isabelle FuhrmanRodrigo Cortés is directing the pic with a script from Michael Goldbach and Chris Sparling. Based on Lois Duncan’s 1974 Ya novel of the same name,  the supernatural mystery centers on a troubled teen with a haunted past who is committed to Blackwood, a mysterious school for gifted and disturbed girls. Silver plays Jules… »

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[Biff Review] Mercy

10 October 2016 4:42 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

It’s practically impossible to talk about what’s happening in Chris Sparling‘s latest thriller, Mercy, without spoiling it. The writer-director knows, and splits his film into three pieces as a result: the first third completely shrouded in mystery, the next a replay from alternative perspectives, and the last the truth of the pursuers’ identities and the lies their victims have been spinning from the start. The only other Sparling film I’ve seen is his most popular one, Buried, which he wrote with Rodrigo Cortés directing, but the similarities in deflection and confusion are obvious. Whereas it focused solely on one character trapped without the ability to fully comprehend what’s happening, Mercy places its viewer in the coffin. We don’t know who’s out there and we definitely cannot trust the family in peril.

I’ll stick solely to the first act to whet your suspense-thriller »

- Jared Mobarak

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‘Down a Dark Hall’ Movie Adaptation With AnnaSophia Robb Casts Taylor Russell

10 October 2016 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Taylor Russell has joined the cast of Lionsgate’s adaptation of the YA novel “Down a Dark Hall.”

AnnaSophia Robb is set to star. Lois Duncan penned the novel, which follows a troubled teen with a haunted past who’s committed to Blackwood, a mysterious school for gifted and disturbed girls.

Rodrigo Cortes is directing the pic from a script by Michael Goldbach and Chris Sparling. Isabelle Fuhrman also stars in the movie, which is currently shooting in Barcelona. Nostromo Pictures is financing the film with the participation of Atresmedia Cine.

“Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer — who optioned the book in 2013 — Wyck Godfrey, Meghan Hibbett, and Marty Bowen are producing. Isaac Klausner will executive produce alongside Nuria Valls.

Russell recently landed the role of Judy Robinson in Legendary and Netflix’s TV reboot of “Lost in Space.” She is repped by Play Mgmt in Vancouver, Thruline, and Jamie Feldman.


- Justin Kroll

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Isabelle Fuhrman To Go ‘Down A Dark Hall’; Owen Teague Joins ‘The Empty Man’

7 October 2016 3:10 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Isabelle Fuhrman is set to star in the supernatural thriller Down A Dark Hall. The film adaptation of 1974 Ya novel by Lois Duncan is about a troubled teen with a haunted past who is committed to Blackwood, a mysterious school for gifted and disturbed girls. Rodrigo Cortes is directing the picture from a script by Michael Goldbach and Chris Sparling. Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment label will distribute the film., which is currently shooting in Barcelona. Wick Godfrey… »

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The Sea Of Trees Review

29 August 2016 2:40 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

After watching Gus Van Sant’s The Sea Of Trees, I’m convinced that composer Mason Bates was shown a completely different movie to score. How else can you explain the gentle woodland nymph-y aesthetic that Bates favors as Matthew McConaughey stumbles frantically around Aokigahara, otherwise known as The Suicide Forest?!

Last time I checked, suicide forests weren’t happy-go-lucky camping sites, and actor Ken Watanabe wasn’t a magical forest creature. The Sea Of Trees is such a strange, bi-polar fever-dream, far beyond Bates’ ill-fitting – and never ceasing – musical accompaniment, but it’s a damn good place to start. Then we can get to how a famed location known for unspeakable sorrow is barely characterized and defined, as yet another movie wastes Japan’s deadliest landmark.

McConaughey plays Arthur Brennan, an adjunct college professor who buys a one-way ticket to the Aokigahara forest. Arthur can’t bear to live another day alone, »

- Matt Donato

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Why A24 Picked Up Gus Van Sant’s Critical Dud ‘The Sea of Trees’

26 August 2016 7:40 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Few films in recent history have gotten off to as rough a start as Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees.” The drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts was loudly booed following its premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it scored a 0.6 out of 4.0 on Screen’s festival jury rankings, the lowest score in 12 years. IndieWire’s chief film critic Eric Kohn called the movie a “stunning misfire” and Van Sant’s worst film.

Based on a spec script from Chris Sparling (“Buried”), the movie follows a suicidal widower (McConaughey) whose plan to end his life in the forest near Mount Fuji is derailed when he encounters a Japanese businessman lost in the same woods and close to death.

Watch: ‘The Sea Of Trees’ Trailer: Matthew McConaughey Has A Crisis Of Faith In Notorious Gus Van Sant Drama

The Sea of Trees’” disastrous introduction to the world »

- Graham Winfrey

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Hollywood Odds: Matthew McConaughey: His best performances so far

25 August 2016 10:20 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

We’re now deep into the McConaissance folks. Yes, in the last few years, we’ve seen Matthew McConaughey really make the leap to the next stage of his career, shaking up the industry in the process. With this week marking the release of his new film The Sea of Trees, I wanted to take a look at his best work to date. Even before I started tackling heavier fare, he was someone I enjoyed, but that’s only grown these days. Whether in supporting or lead roles, he’s a unique and talented actor with a lot to offer. The years to come will be very exciting, both for us and for him… The Sea of Trees is a drama about a pair of suicidal men looking for a way out of a forest in Japan. One is Arthur Brennan (McConaughey), the protagonist, while the other is Takumi Nakamura »

- Joey Magidson

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Movie Review: Matthew McConaughey gets lost in Gus Van Sant’s deathly dull Sea Of Trees

24 August 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | | See recent The AV Club news »

The screenplay for The Sea Of Trees, penned by Chris Sparling (Buried), is one of those narrative Rube Goldberg machines where everything falls into place in the unlikeliest, corniest, and worst possible way. Its protagonist is Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey), a science adjunct who buys a one-way ticket to Japan so he can kill himself in Aokigahara, the notorious “suicide forest” at the base of Mount Fuji, only to have his plans upended by Takumi (Ken Watanabe, miscast), a magical salaryman who stumbles out of the bushes with slashed wrists and a bad case of second thoughts. So off they go, the two would-be suicides, trying to find a path out of the dark wood on an odyssey of bad monologues, misguided contrivances, and lengthy flashbacks about Arthur’s alcoholic wife, Joan (Naomi Watts). As it turns out, there is something worse than Nicholas Sparks, the king of morbid romantic »

- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Frightfest 2016 Line-Up Announced

1 July 2016 8:32 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

The line-up for the 17th annual Frightfest has been announced, read on for more…

We’ve barely recovered from last year’s event but Frightfest is almost upon us again. The world of horror will descend on the British capital from Thursday 25th August, running until Monday 29th August. This year the event moves out of the London West End for the first time in its history, and will instead take place at the Vue in Shepard’s Bush. The move is primarily motivated by building work at the original location, but does mean that there will be a lot more space, and more space means more films.

Last year’s event showcased 76 of the best new genre films on the market, a very impressive number. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the Frightfest organisers have an enormous 62 films on display this year, giving the audience a little more space to breathe, »

- Kat Hughes

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FrightFest unveils 2016 line-up

1 July 2016 6:06 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

London-based genre festival to feature 19 world premieres and 35 UK & European premieres.

Horror Channel FrightFest has unveiled the line-up for its upcoming 17th edition, taking place at its new home of the Vue Shepherd’s Bush from Aug 25-29.

Sean Brosnan’s revenge thriller My Father Die [pictured] receives its European premiere as the opening film, while the UK premiere of Sang-ho Yeon’s Cannes title Train To Busan closes this year’s festival.

In total, the 62-strong feature line-up includes 19 world premieres and 35 UK & European premieres. Ivan Silvestrini’s Monolith, Tricia Lee’s creepy chiller Blood Hunters and Nick Jongerius’ gory The Windmill Massacre are among the world premieres.

Meanwhile, Adam Wingard’s eagerly anticipated The Woods will receive its European premiere in the Main Screen strand, playing alongside the likes of Stephen King adaptation Cell, Italian box office hit They Call Me Jeeg Robot and Cody Calahan’s Let Her Out.

Other Main Screen »

- (Ian Sandwell)

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Scott’s Los Angeles Film Festival Dispatch, Part One

15 June 2016 2:00 PM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

Independent cinema is the clear focus at La Film Fest. This doesn’t mean they’re completely clear of the sort of pre-packaged, studio-lite fare that tends to climb awards-season ladders into our multiplexes – this year’s festival featured films starring Chris Messina, Idris Elba, Alfred Molina, Gemma Arterton, Gael Garcia Bernal, Gillian Jacobs, and Topher Grace, plus The Conjuring 2, an outright studio film. And even those films without such attachments are not entirely free from the influence, following familiar beats and a sort of glossy presentation in an attempt to “fit in” with the big boys. The extent to which these films could truly be called “independent” is thus debatable, and lends a sort of discomfort to aligning them with truly adventurous voices. That disparity is most evident in four thrillers that played at the festival, which range from practically begging to be let in to actively refusing any sense of acceptance. »

- Scott Nye

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8 Movies We’re Excited to See at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival

31 May 2016 4:01 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

The 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 1st, and this year’s Nightfall lineup looks to be yet another strong selection of genre films set to thrill festival-goers night after night.

For those of you in the southern California area, the 2016 Laff runs through Thursday, June 9th and is calling the ArcLight Culver City Cinema home this year. Here’s a look at what we’re anticipating once the Laff begins later this week, and for more information on the festival, please visit:

Abattoir (directed by Darren Lynn Bousman)

Full disclosure: Abattoir was edited by my significant other, so I am certainly biased, but my enthusiasm for the film comes from my excitement to see Bousman return to the hardboiled world of horror after working on The Devil’s Carnival musicals and his comedy-infused segment in last year’s Tales of Halloween anthology. »

- Heather Wixson

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There is No Mercy for Four Brothers in this Thrilling Trailer

27 May 2016 2:38 PM, PDT | 28 Days Later Analysis | See recent 28 Days Later Analysis news »

A new horror film is coming your way via Xyz Films. Titled Mercy, the film involves a dying mother and a possible contested inheritance. The film's first trailer shows several masked characters attempting to kill a fractured family. Starring Constance Barron, Michael Donovan and Caitlin FitzGerald, this feature will be at the La Film Festival, in early June. As well, the film will show on Netflix later this year. A preview for Mercy is hosted here. The official synopsis reveals more about the film's central conflict. Four estranged brothers reunite to say good-bye to their dying mother. While at her home, they are attacked by a mysterious group, who hounds their isolated home. Director Chris Sparling has written screenplays for other thrillers. Sparling wrote the script for Buried (2010) and the more recent slasher Atm (2012). With a background in the genre, Sparling's latest looks like a must-see title, with more to come on Mercy. »

- (Michael Allen)

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Trailer for Chris Sparling's Home Invasion Thriller Mercy

27 May 2016 8:55 AM, PDT | | See recent QuietEarth news »

[Editor's Note: Be sure to join us on Facebook for news and contests and even more discussion of awesome movies, books and TV!]

Chris Sparling (Buried, Atm) returns with a new horror film called Mercy. The film, produced by Xyz Films (The Raid), was picked up by Netflix last year, which is awesome because that means we won't need to jump through hoops to find it when it finally comes out.

Netflix's last major horror acquisition was another home invasion thriller, Hush which premiered on the streaming service last month.


When four estranged brothers return home to say their last goodbye to their dying mother, Grace, hidden motivations reveal themselves. The family’s alr [Continued ...] »

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Horror Highlights: The Craft Shirt, Fright Flicks Candles & Magnets, Mercy, Wynonna Earp

27 May 2016 8:08 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

“We are the weirdos, mister.” Nancy, Bonnie, Rochelle, and Sarah from Andrew Fleming’s The Craft will put a spell on you with these new shirts by Cavity Colors. Also: Freddy in Space’s Fright Flicks candles and magnets sold by Horror Decor, a trailer / L.A. Film Festival premiere details for Mercy, and, lastly, a new clip from Season 1, Episode 9 of Syfy’s Wynonna Earp.

Cavity Colors’ The Craft Shirts: From Cavity Colors: The Coven Shirt: “Join The Coven…

Available For 72 Hours Only!

After The Time Period Has Passed, This Design Will Vanish Forever.

Also available on: Girls Shirts ($25) / Tanktops ($25) / Baseball Tees ($35)

Quantities / sizes are limited, so don’t miss out!

Style:  Unisex T-shirt- click size chart below for measurements.

Printed on our ultra soft Black 100% cotton T-shirts.

Includes printed size tag / logo

Art By: Hillary White

Shipping: Pre-order – Ships in early June


The Weirdos Shirt: “Available For 72 Hours Only! »

- Tamika Jones

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LA Film Festival Unveils 42 World Premieres

26 April 2016 10:53 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The LA Film Festival has announced its competition lineup of 42 world premieres with 43% of the films directed by women and 38% of the films by people of color.

“Curating films for La audiences is so special because Angelenos have a uniquely homegrown love of cinema,” said Creative Director Jennifer Cochis. “It’s with true film lovers in mind that we program: from political theater to musical theater, we’re highlighting storytelling in all its forms.”

Festival director Stephanie Allain said the diversity numbers have risen from the 2015 festival. “It’s very much our mission to discover new voices and support diversity,” she added.

Among the notable titles unveiled Tuesday was Amber Tamblyn’s debut feature film “Paint It Black” in the U.S. fiction lineup and Ben Lear’s documentary “They Call Us Monsters.”

Director of programming Roya Rastegar told Variety, “We were looking above all for stories with a sense of urgency to them. »

- Dave McNary

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Good Universe Developing Chris Sparling Thriller ‘Intrusion’

15 March 2016 12:09 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Good Universe has picked up rights to Chris Sparling’s thriller spec script “Intrusion” and is fast-tracking development, Variety has learned exclusively.

Sparling’s credits include Matthew McConaughey’s “Sea of Trees” and Ryan Reynolds’ “Buried.”

“Intrusion,” which is out to directors, centers on a woman who moves with her husband to a small town in Maine after a cancer scare and becomes the victim of a strange home invasion. She begins to uncover a darkness underneath her seemingly idyllic new life.

Alexandra Milchan (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Russell Hollander (“Valentine’s Day”), Josh Weinstock (“Nightingale”) and Sparling are attached to produce. Good Universe’s Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake will serve as executive producers.

Spencer Wong brought the project in to Good Universe and will oversee it.

Sparling just wrapped writing and directing “Mercy” for Netflix, and wrote and produced Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees,” which »

- Dave McNary

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