17 items from 2016
Let’s face it: Most horror made for TV isn’t really scary, is it? I mean, we talk about these shows or movies frightening us as kids, but we could say the same about watching a PG rated flick that contains a few good jolts or disturbing themes. The bottom line is a lot of things scare us as children, including real life. And every once in awhile, someone will come strutting along and boast of a TV movie from their youth that they insist is genuinely scary. And when they say genuine, they mean that it still casts a spell today, unvarnished by time. Well, having finally seen it for the first time, I can say that Don’t Go To Sleep (1982) fits the bill, offering up a few for real scares, a sense of unease, a clever teleplay, and an ending that’s still sticking to me like unwanted psychic residue. »
- Scott Drebit
I’ve endured countless horror movies that go absolutely nowhere, but Native American Poltergeist – I mean, The Darkness – might be 2016’s most notorious offender. Even in an empty theater, engulfed by pitch-black silence, only the super-chilly air conditioning could manage to raise my hairs. Influentially, there’s never a question where filmmaker Greg Mclean draws inspiration from, but where other movies simply borrow, The Darkness repurposes. Not blatantly – like Kelvin Tong’s The Offering – but when I jokingly say Native American Poltergeist, the comparison couldn’t be more cut-and-dry. What happens when you blend together Insidious, Poltergeist, and every other paranormal haunter from the last ten years? I have no idea, but this is unfortunately worse.
Don’t you hate when your autistic child unleashes a generations-old Anasazi curse? Peter (Kevin Bacon) and Bronny (Radha Mitchell) think their Grand Canyon camping vacation is all fun and sunshine, but their son »
- Matt Donato
For his latest adventure in suspense, director Greg McLean reins in the blood and guts to focus on a family under attack by forces both interior and exterior. McLean established his international reputation with the gruesome Wolf Creek more than 10 years ago, and the sequel Wolf Creek 2 dug into body horror with even more gusto. In between he made Rogue, probably remembered chiefly as a crocodile thriller. Yet each of those films showed McLean's distinctive ability to marshal his resources in order to unleash something more than might be expected. The same is true with The Darkness, which on first blush feels like a lightly rejiggered version of Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist, complete with a house in American suburbia that comes under attack by...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Vega Baby and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have reached a multi-year agreement for Sphe to distribute and market Vega Baby’s films globally in physical and digital formats, Variety has learned exclusively.
Singapore-based Vega Baby is in pre-production on the horror/thriller “Devil’s Whisper,” written by Paul Todisco and Oliver Robins (“Order of the Swans”). It’s also in development on an untitled Chris McQuarrie script; “Kin,” an action/thriller from Black List scriptwriter Adam Taylor Barker; “Prowl,” an action/adventure written by Brett Hedblom; and the documentary “Curse of the Poltergeist,” starring Oliver Robins, who starred in the original “Poltergeist.”
“We are always looking to expand our product offerings in the home entertainment marketplace and this partnership is in keeping with that strategy,” said Ben Means, Sphe’s senior VP of Third Party Strategic Partnerships. “Vega Baby produces a variety of unique and compelling films in multiple genres »
- Dave McNary
1979’s The Amityville Horror is often imitated but rarely topped. Artist Justin Osbourn warns you to get out out the film’s iconic house with his shirt design, while Kyle Crawford creates a collage of haunting imagery for his.
Crawford’s artwork is also available on baseball tees and 18×24 screen-printed posters. The standard poster is limited to 175, and the red variant is limited to 50 with a glow-in-the-dark layer.
While Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist is a bona fide classic, its 1986 sequel has its own merits. Osbourn and Crawford each offer a design featuring the film’s protagonist, Carol Anne, being terrorized by the menacing Kane.
- Derek Anderson
Dan Ireland, who co-founded the Seattle Film Festival, served as an acquisitions exec at Vestron Pictures and directed films including “The Whole Wide World” (1996) and “Jolene” (2008), starring Jessica Chastain, has died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 57.
Chastain tweeted in memory of him.
“The sweetest angel left us. Called his voicemail just to hear his voice once more. I’ll miss you baby,” she wrote.
The sweetest angel left us. Called his voicemail just to hear his voice once more. I'll miss you baby. #DanIreland #Jolene
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) April 15, 2016
“The Whole Wide World,” starring a young Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger, was a biopic of Texas-born pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard, who created Conan the Barbarian in the early years of the 20th century, and the woman in his life, played by Zellweger (the film was her movie debut).
Ireland was nominated for »
- Carmel Dagan
Leave it to Alamo Drafthouse to fire up our childhoods Again. It’s been four long years since the independent theater chain celebrated 1982 — widely considered the best summer of movies ever — screening an exhaustive line of classics: Poltergeist (the good one), E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, Conan The Barbarian, The Road Warrior, The Thing, Blade Runner, and more. A boatload of true classics. Sigh. Why has no one invented a time machine yet! People! Someone get on that, thanks.
JoBeth Williams and friend take a dip
(It’s also been five years since the theater made nationwide headlines for having integrity. Fyi, salty language makes this link somewhat Nsfw.)
Anyway — our good friends from Texas are giving us the best we can get until one of you figures out how to bend time: they’re screening the original Star Wars trilogy in more than 20 cities across the country! Back-to-back-to-back!
- Harker Jones
Indirectly spawned by Steven Spielberg, PG-13 is now the rating of choice among movie studios. Ryan charts the effects of its rise and rise.
Even compared to the exploding heads and melting faces of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Temple Of Doom was an intense, gruesome affair. The Indiana Jones prequel may have begun with a breezy song-and-dance number, but it soon descended into a dark ghost train ride of human sacrifice, death by crocodiles, child slavery and chilled monkey brains for dinner.
One of the film’s most famous scenes saw a victim’s heart torn out and held, still pumping and oozing blood, before his gazing eyes. Some kids in the audience were probably cackling with macabre glee at all this. Parents and critics were far less amused. One reviewer even suggested that taking a child to see The Temple Of Doom was tantamount to wilful neglect. »
Marshall made the remark during an on-stage interview in Las Vegas after he collected the International Filmmaker Of The Decade accolade at the International Day awards lunch.
Netflix would be the ideal home for Welles’ unfinished film, said the producer, who hoped it would debut by the end of the year.
He reminded attendees The Other Side Of The Wind stars John Huston as a director on the last night of his life as seen through the eyes of the paparazzi. The film shot between 1970 and 1976. Welles died in 1985.
Marshall weighed in on the Screening Room debate and reminisced about a career that has seen him rack up credits for the Indiana Jones and Jason Bourne franchises, Poltergeist, Jurassic World and the upcoming The Bfg, Jason Bourne, Assassin’s Creed »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Some brilliant scores accompany movies that don't always deserve them. Here are 25 examples...
Can a film soundtrack rescue a movie that is otherwise a lost cause? One thing’s for sure: throughout the history of cinema, music has often been the redeeming feature of many an underwhelming movie. Here are 25 amazing film scores composed for films that, frankly, didn’t deserve them.
This somnambulistic three hour romantic drama should really feature an extra screen credit for star Brad Pitt’s fetishised blonde locks. Rising way above the torpid melodrama of the plot is one of Thomas Newman’s most hauntingly melodic and attractive scores, one that leaves his characteristic quirkiness at the door to paint a portrait of death that is both melancholy and hopeful. The spectacular 10-minute finale That Next Place remains one of Newman’s towering musical achievements.
According to Blu-ray.com, Teen Witch will be released on Blu-ray sometime this year. While the cover art and special features have yet to be revealed, Scorpion Releasing recently let fans know on their Facebook page that they’ve conducted a video interview with Teen Witch star Robyn Lively, and that fans can expect a lot of bonus features on this release. Stay tuned to Daily Dead for more details.
Synopsis (via MGM): “Romance is the most powerful spell of all… or so one teenager learns in this fun teen fantasy starring Robyn Lively (“Chicago Hope”), Zelda Rubinstein (the Poltergeist trilogy), Dan Gauthier (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) and »
- Derek Anderson
It was a running joke among Italian exploitation filmmakers in the 70s and 80s that if you wanted to know what your next film was going to be, you only had to look at Hollywood’s box office. While Hollywood made The Exorcist, Jaws and Star Wars, Italy made Beyond The Door, Tentacles and Starcrash.
Jump forward a few decades and Hollywood appears to be the new Italy, relentlessly ripping off its own back catalogue. The problem is, the Italians did it so much more entertainingly.
Elsewhere, the reboot of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was just like the TV series – a so-so spy caper that didn’t have the budget to compete with James Bond. »
- Ian Watson
Should any film ever be remade? Well, Hollywood certainly thinks so, and there seems to be an unending supply of directors who think they can improve on what’s gone before. Whatever the final result, and of course every filmmaker sets out to make the best film they can, the new production will always be subjected to the harshest scrutiny when compared with an often loved original. Clearly unfazed by any potential negativity, studio execs seem convinced that the most suitable target for remakes is the good old horror flick.
Recently, we’ve had updated versions of well-known films that have lacked any real quality, from the disappointing (Carrie) to the downright awful (Halloween), but nevertheless this trend shows few signs of letting up.
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The problem is that horror fans are arguably more passionate than most about their genre and as such take easy offence »
- John Townsend
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, in conjunction with Variety, announced today the recipients of the second annual Variety Artisans Awards, which celebrates those essential to the filmmaking process and who have exhibited the most exciting and innovative work of the year in their respective fields. The Tribute evening will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Lobero Theatre and will be moderated by Variety’s Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray.
The Variety Artisans Award will be presented to the following 2016 Oscar nominees:
Carter Burwell, for original score in the Weinstein Company’s “Carol” directed by Todd Haynes. This is Burwell’s first Academy Award nomination; he has worked with esteemed directors such as the Coen Brothers, Spike Jonze and Bill Condon.
- Variety Staff
This is definitely the time of year when film critic types (I’m sure you know who I mean) spend an inordinate amount of time leading up to awards season—and it all leads up to awards season, don’t it?—compiling lists and trying to convince anyone who will listen that it was a shitty year at the movies for anyone who liked something other than what they saw and liked. And ‘tis the season, or at least ‘thas (?) been in the recent past, for that most beloved of academic parlor games, bemoaning the death of cinema, which, if the sackcloth-and-ashes-clad among us are to be believed, is an increasingly detached and irrelevant art form in the process of being smothered under the wet, steaming blanket of American blockbuster-it is. And it’s going all malnourished from the siphoning off of all the talent back to TV, which, as everyone knows, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
We’ve seen Jeffrey Donovan‘s future, and it involves a starring role on Hulu’s next original series.
RelatedHugh Laurie Drama Chance Picked Up for Two Seasons at Hulu
Donovan will star as Charlie Haverford, a failed magician who now works as a psychic and con man overseeing a number of the city’s fortune-telling parlors. When he suffers a blow to the head, Charlie begins to »
An awkward thing happened to the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Revenant as it trekked into theaters last last year in hopes of picking up award show nominations: A rumor put the film in headlines but for reasons that none of its publicists were happy about. In early December, 20th Century Fox spokespeople were forced to clarify that no, the film does not feature a scene in which its star is raped by a bear. DiCaprio himself later weighed in on the rumor, calling it "absurd," and when the film finally hit theaters on Christmas Day, audiences saw that the rumor »
17 items from 2016
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