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Luke Owen looks at this year’s FrightFest…
What a year this was. Every time FrightFest rolls around, the four madmen behind the festival promise the ‘best line-up ever’, and this year was no different. Each screen was packed out, there was plenty of surprises on offer and some great interviews with the likes of Barbara Crampton, Neil Marshall and Iain Softley.
As for the movies themselves, we had a great variety. From the terrifying (Demonic) to the utterly bizarre (Ahhhhh!) to the downright brilliant (Turbo Kid), there was something for everyone. There were arty films (Sun Choke), heart-breaking films (These Final Hours) and a movie where Santa Claus fights off zombie eleves (A Christmas Horror Story). What more could you ask for?
Well, here’s the 10 best films of the festival (in no order), according to Flickering Myth:
Written and directed by Zak Hilditch
Starring Nathan Phillips, »
- Luke Owen
Written and directed by Will Cannon
A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.
Just as with The Diabolical, Demonic from producer James Wan and director Will Cannon is a movie that attempts to move the ghost story genre into a new direction. And Cannon does this in the most perfect of ways – he makes three movies that intertwine with one and other to create one of the best narratives to come from the subgenre in some time.
The first of these movies is your typical ‘five kids go to a haunted house tale’ which plays out better than you’d think. It’s helped by the fact Demonic has a wonderful cast of likeable characters – even if none »
- Luke Owen
Director: Will Canon
Running Time: 83 minutes
Synopsis: A pair of detectives try to find a missing person after a group of college students go ghost hunting.
James Wan brought us Saw and Insidious. Now with his producer hat on he brings into life Demonic. Originally pegged as James Wan’s Demonic, somewhere along the line his name was dropped from the proceedings. The tale follows John (Dustin Milligan) the sole survivor to a vicious massacre in a house with a history.
The cast is interesting, featuring several old hats at this type of film, however anyone other than Milligan, Grillo or Bello is barely given the time of day. So much so that there are at least three, if not four, cast members that could easily be culled, »
- Kat Smith
Stars: Maria Bello, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn, Dustin Milligan, Megan Park, Scott Mechlowicz, Aaron Yoo, Alex Goode, Ashton Leigh, Terence Rosemore, Griff Furst, Jesse Steccato, Meyer DeLeeuw | Written by Max La Bella | Directed by Will Canon
James Wan, the man behind Saw, Dead Silence (a personal favourite), Insidious and The Conjuring, dons producer cap once more – following the success of Annabelle – for Demonic, the second feature from director Will Canon (Brotherhood); and a movie that seems to share more in common with the work of its producer that just having his name on the film…
Demonic follows Detective Mark Lewis and psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein as they question the lone survivor of a ghost-hunting excursion turned horrific massacre – where five college students were brutally murdered inside an abandoned home. The amateur paranormal activists were simply seeking proof of poltergeist phenomenon at the supposed haunted house. But what started out as »
- Phil Wheat
The gradual reveal of Channing Tatum as a box office magnet and sorely underestimated movie star was staggered over the first half of 2012. The Vow and 21 Jump Street were both hits that showed off opposite sides of his range, but his two collaborations with Steven Soderbergh set him on his current path.
Long renowned as an actor's director, Soderbergh cast Tatum in a minor role in Haywire, which is how he came to be attached to Magic Mike, a semi-biographical project based on the actor's experiences as a stripper in Tampa, Florida. The latter was a sleeper hit that assured Tatum's status as an A-lister, but a sequel hardly felt inevitable.
Magic Mike Xxl, 2015
Directed by Gregory Jacobs
Three years after quitting the stripper life, ‘Magic’ Mike Lane runs into his old stripper buddies from the Xquisite show, who take him along on a road trip to a stripper convention as the last hurrah of the company.
Let me refresh your memory: the first Magic Mike film left us with a bittersweet taste in our mouths (…pun probably intended) as Mike (Channing Tatum) quit the stripper life to pursue more conventional business ventures and a relationship with The Kid (Alex Pettyfer)’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). There had been drugs, and bad blood, and some unnamed toxicity that even Mike couldn’t stand anymore, leading to his exit pretty much mid-show. It was a surprise and a total subversion of expectations »
- Kat Kourbeti
The boys are back, but their clothes are still gone! Magic Mike Xxl opened Wednesday, reuniting five strippers from 2012's surprise hit Magic Mike: Ken (Matt Bomer), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodríguez) and Mike (Channing Tatum). The Warner Bros. film finds four of the Kings of Tampa ready to retire. But before they can hang up their thongs for good, they ask Mike to join them for one last hurrah at a convention. The road trip to Myrtle Beach is full of surprises, ranging from humorous to heartfelt. Cody Horn, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and Alex Pettyfer's characters do not reprise their roles from Steven Soderbergh's film. Instead, director Gregory »
Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the off-beat, nerdy news for you in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this wonderful Wednesday? Find out what the Harry Potter franchise would look like with an R rating,Magic Mike gets an Honest Trailer, and check out Nicolas Cage as every Game of Thrones character. So, sit back, relax, and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Harry Potter gets R Rated
Ever wonder what the Harry Potter franchise would look like with an R rating? Fine Brothers Entertainment has put together a side-splitting five-minute animated video that takes memorable scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and gives this classic, family-friendly story an R-rated twist. In this video, Potter's aunt and uncle are far more physically abusive, the Sorting Hat is a racist prick and Quidditch gets deadly. »
Magic Mike Xxl hits theaters this evening beginning at 7Pm and while it isn't the drama the first one was, it is more the film I think many were hoping 2012's Magic Mike was going to be. So, in that respect the Screen Junkies crew are on point with their dissection of the stripper drama calling it "two unsexy hours" of watching the day-to-day routine of male strippers along with some stock market conversation mixed in with thong shopping. Though I do think they go a little hard on Cody Horn whom I thought was actually good in the first film. Oh well. readmore postid="181704" Watch the video below. yt id="SsDd_BVZqxQ" width="515" »
- Brad Brevet
One needn’t have spent much time on dating sites to know that guys have a tendency to exaggerate where size is concerned, so fans of Warner Bros.’ 2012 striptease sleeper should set their expectations accordingly over “Magic Mike Xxl.” Meanwhile, someone in the studio’s marketing department deserves a raise for so enticingly fluffing the title of a sequel that sheds the newbie (Alex Pettyfer), the emcee (Matthew McConaughey) and nearly all traces of plot, yielding an encore whose putative selling point is getting to know the fellas who shook their stuff in the next-to-buff. Trading the “A Star Is Born” angle for a rambling road-trip format, “Magic Mike Xxl” offers creative dance numbers for demos underserved by the original — post-menopausal divorcees, women of color and, in one odd scene, gay fans open to seeing these hunks in drag — but seems unlikely to measure up to its predecessor’s $113 million score. »
- Peter Debruge
“We gave them no direction, just the title,” Jimmy Fallon explains. “We asked them to write scenes based on what they think a movie called ‘Magic Mike’ would be about.” And with that “Magic Mike Xxl” star Channing Tatum is put through the dog and pony show of late night TV, but hey, at least the segment is amusing. So for “Magic Mike Xxl,” Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Cody Horn are gone, but it’s interesting to see how much the sequel has diversified with their absence. Having much bigger roles in the follow-up film are Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias and the cast also includes, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Michael Strahan in not insignificant roles either (also new to the cast are Andie MacDowell and Elizabeth Banks). Read More: 'Magic Mike Xxl' Soundtrack Features Backstreet Boys, R. Kelly, Ginuwine, Jodeci, And »
- Edward Davis
Move over Fifty Shades of Grey – the movie that’s going to get the most female tongues wagging this year is unquestionably Magic Mike Xxl, in which Channing Tatum returns to the role of an ace male stripper who thought he was out of the life for good, only to find himself drawn back in for more sweaty, sexy antics with such buff co-stars as Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Matt Bomer and Kevin Nash.
A new trailer for the R-rated summer flick has splashed online, dripping with enough sexual innuendos and pent-up passion to make a Nsfw label somewhat appropriate. The actual plot of the sequel is irrelevant, as the trailer itself points out through a fourth-wall-breaking narration – Magic Mike Xxl promises some ripped, raunchy fellas doing what they do best, and that’s more than enough for the pic’s target audience.
There are some deviations from the first film’s formula, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Did you watch the MTV Movie Awards last weekend? No, we didn’t either, but if you saw any of the recapped jokes or highlights you know that host Amy Schumer’s go-to joke centered on the ladies lust for “Magic Mike Xxl.” If her take is anything to go by, the female audiences most anticipated movie of summer 2015 is certainly this “Magic Mike” sequel. So what happens in part 2? "Just a bunch of naked dudes sitting around doing dude stuff. We read all the message boards, and people were like, ‘Less story. Less plot. Just dudes’ things.’ And we listened to that,” star Channing Tatum recently joked to EW. There are changes to the movie and the behind-the-scenes creators though; the movie takes place three years after the first one and gone are Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Cody Horn’s characters. But the cast is stacked with newcomers that include Amber Heard, »
- Edward Davis
Demonic centers on the aftermath of a horrific massacre where five college students were brutally murdered inside an abandoned home. Detective Mark Lewis and psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein question one of the few survivors who explains they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house, which was believed to be haunted. But what started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying.
Directed by Will Canon, Demonic features a cast that also includes Dustin Milligan, Megan Park, Scott Mechlowicz, Aaron Yoo and Alex Goode. As yet, the film is without a release date, but expect it later this year.
- Gary Collinson
I hate to spoil a blockbuster this early, but it appears "Magic Mike Xxl" will have as much sexy shirtlessness as the first movie. I hope your feelings aren't hurt by that revelation. The sequel is out July 1, and in a new poster, we see Channing Tatum in the middle of a serious, shirtless jive. Apparently Snapchat followers of the film at @MagicMikeMovie got to view this pic first. Ugh! Now we have to learn what Snapchat is and start saying "Snapchat" in regular conversation like mean cool tweens. For the record, "Magic Mike Xxl" will feature Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez, who are all reprising their roles from the first film. Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn, Riley Keough, Alex Pettyfer, and Olivia Munn will not be returning. Newcomers in the sequel include Elizabeth Banks, Donald Glover, Amber Heard, Gabriel Iglesias, Andie Macdowell, Jane McNeill, Jada Pinkett Smith, »
- Louis Virtel
Five days after NBC pulled Allegiance, the series’ co-star Morgan Spector has landed a new series regular gig: a male lead role in ABC's period female-cop procedural drama pilot Broad Squad, written by Bess Wohl and directed by Coky Giedroyc. A fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston's first female patrol officers in 1978, the project centers on four newly minted cops — Eileen (Lauren Ambrose), Molly (Charlotte Spencer), Lisa (Cody Horn) and Joanne (Rutina… »
The “Broad Squad” is growing.
Ambrose will star as Eileen, one of the first four women to graduate from Boston’s Police Academy in 1978. The rookie cop struggles with balancing her new career with her roles at home as a wife to a wounded police officer and a mom to a young son.
The drama, inspired by true stories, also stars Charlotte Spencer and Cody Horn (“The Office”) as the two other female leads, as well as Michael Gaston (“The Mentalist”), Kenneth Mitchell (“Jericho”) and Alberto Frezza.
- Maane Khatchatourian
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
Ambrose — who this Thursday made her debut on USA Network’s Dig event series — will play Eileen, our sister site Deadline reports, alongside Rutina Wesley (True Blood), Charlotte Spencer (the UK’s Glue miniseries) and Cody Horn (Rescue Me, »
Rutina Wesley, coming off playing Sookie’s best friend Tara on True Blood for seven seasons, has been cast as one of the four leads in ABC's period female-cop procedural drama pilot Broad Squad, written by Bess Wohl and directed by Coky Giedroyc. A fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston's first female patrol officers in 1978, the project centers on four newly minted cops — Eileen, Molly (Charlotte Spencer), Lisa (Cody Horn) and Joanne (Wesley) &mdash… »
Rutina Wesley is trading in her fangs for a badge this pilot season.
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
The former True Blood star, who’s also set to recur in Hannibal‘s upcoming third season, has joined the cast of ABC’s Broad Squad, a 1978-set drama pilot about Boston’s first female patrol officers. Wesley will play Joanne, one of the four central female cops.
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