14 items from 2014
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg; Screenwriters: Petter Skavlan, Allan Scott; Starring: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård; Running time: 118 mins; Certificate: 15
He may not wield a hammer and a red cape is surplus to his sartorial requirements, but the Thor at the centre of the epic adventure Kon-Tiki has more than enough drive and passion to compensate. Nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe way back in 2013, the wait for this gem to wash up on UK shores has been a long but ultimately rewarding one - not unlike the central narrative of the film.
Based on the stunning true tale of a Norwegian's quest to prove historical 'fact' wrong, this impressively immersive movie places you right at the heart of Thor Heyerdahl's (Pål Sverre Hagen) brave but borderline suicidal mission in 1947 to cross 4,300 miles of the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft built without modern »
Buenos Aires – Bursting onto Latin America’s genre scene with the Elle Driver-sold “La casa muda,” a big hit at Cannes in 2011, Uruguay’s Gustavo Hernandez has set his next feature, sci-fi survival thriller “Albatros.”
News of “Albatros” comes as Hernandez attends Ventana Sur to promote Juma Fodde Roma’s witchhunt tale “Ice for the Eagles,” part of its Beyond the Window fantastic film project showcase.
Set up at Montevideo’s Mother Superior, where Hernandez partners with Ignacio Cucucovich, “Albatros” is written by Fodde Roma. Cucucovich produces. Story centers on Iris, a young paraplegic who struggles to survive in a near-future world ravaged by a pandemic of irrational violence. On her journey, she zealously looks for her little niece, while constantly avoiding the savages that roam this decaying earth, lurking on the roads that lead to the top of the mountain, which holds the only hope of salvation.
- John Hopewell
Prince William knew just what to do with a set of Christmas bells he got from some schoolchildren he met Wednesday outside London - use them as an audible alarm system on his toddler son. "We'll put these in [George's] pockets and then we'll know where he is in the house!" William, 32, joked after receiving the little bag of red bell Christmas ornaments from 9-year-old Dylan Marten Hughes. The children, from three primary schools in Watford, near London, had been showing William a project that portrayed a man in a suit made of poppies. "Each of the poppies represent a soldier who died, »
- Simon Perry, @SPerryPeoplemag
Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »
- Andre Soares
Genuinely horrific and deeply scary in a way that draws on the most primal of emotions. A horror flick with rare emotional and psychological resonance. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): I’m not generally optimistic about horror movies these days
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I’m trying to remember the last time an actual, straight-up horror film frightened me. And… I got nuthin’. The Cabin in the Woods comes close, but that was scary in ways that were about undercutting traditional horror tropes. The movies that scare the crap out of me tend to be things like the nuclear-war nightmare-inducer Threads, or the lost-at-sea panic attack Open Water.
But now there’s The Babadook, which is, basically, yer standard haunted-house flick with a bit of demonic-ish possession tossed in for spice. Except it’s genuinely horrific and deeply scary. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
London — Goldcrest Films has acquired all international rights to the true-life adventure “Against the Sun.” Pic is toplined by Tom Felton, who starred as Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” pics, as well as playing in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Fangs of War.”
“Against the Sun” tells the true-life story of three U.S. navy airmen who battle for survival after their torpedo bomber crash lands in the South Pacific six weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The film, which also stars Garret Dillahunt (“12 Years a Slave,” “Looper,” Fox hit comedy “Raising Hope”) and Jake Abel (“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), will have its market premiere at the American Film Market this November, and is due for release in the U.S. in late January 2015.
- Leo Barraclough
It’s tough enough to make a first feature, but writer-director Adam MacDonald chose to make his with real bears. MacDonald’s been racking up acting credits for quite a while, having appeared on a number of shows including Being Erica and Rookie Blue, but now he’s at the Toronto International Film Festival with his feature directorial debut, Backcountry. The film stars Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym as Alex and Jenn, a couple that opts to ditch the big city and spend some quality time together camping in the woods for the weekend. Alex insists he knows the way to the secluded Blackfoot trail, but after one too many wrong turns, they’re completely lost and in bear territory, too. In an effort to keep myself from gushing over the film and turning this into a mile long introduction, I’ll just direct you to my enthusiastic review of Backcountry right here. »
- Perri Nemiroff
As Orson Welles once said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone”. It is perhaps the underlying knowledge of this fact – that we are all flying solo in life – that makes films which deal with isolation so powerful and riveting and ultimately easy to identify with.
Beyond Welles’ bleak philosophical assessment of the human condition we all know what it is to experience actual loneliness in some form or other, be it our first night away from home, or being the new kid at school, or not being able to get a girlfriend/boyfriend, social or physical isolation is universally experienced. As mentioned this is no doubt a key factor as to why the theme of isolation has long fascinated filmmakers.
What follows is a list »
- Chris O'Malley
I already think twice about going into the ocean thanks to Open Water and now I’ll have the same problem with camping courtesy of Adam MacDonald’s disturbingly brilliant feature directorial debut, Backcountry. We get a “based on a true story” title card a few minutes in and the film honors it to the fullest. Everything from the secluded setting to the characters to their decision-making process feels so authentic that it’ll leave you with the impression that it could happen to anyone. Good thing I’ve got a trip to the woods coming up in a week, right? (Really.) Missy Peregrym and Jeff Roop lead as Jenn and Alex. She’s a super serious lawyer who’s glued to her Blackberry and he’s determined to give her a nice break by having her do one of his favorite things, go on a camping trip. But not just any camping trip. »
- Perri Nemiroff
Even if you live in a pineapple under the sea or threw your television out the window in a drunken fit of rage one night a few weeks ago, you're likely aware that we're currently balls deep into Shark Week...
...Discovery's Channel's annual celebration of those underwater beasties who once upon a time turned a man by the name of Quint into a bucket of human chum.
I don't think you need me to tell you that this week is the absolute perfect week to revisit Jaws and other shark attack films, but in the event that you do, allow me to provide that service for you.
This week is the perfect week to revisit Jaws and other shark attack films!
There. You happy?
In celebration of Shark Week here at Dread Central, we initially flirted with the idea of bringing you a list of the best shark-themed horror films to watch this week. »
- John Squires
Sunday was the beginning of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, an annual celebration of the awesome might of these elegant creatures of the sea. But while Shark Week focuses largely on real sharks (well, real-ish) we wanted to commemorate the sharks that we enjoy the other 51 weeks of the year - the friendly and fearsome sharks that fill up our popular culture. Which pop-culture shark is best? And, just as crucially, which pop-culture shark is worst? We'd write more, but like a shark, this post needs to constantly move forward or else it dies. Onto the list, below! 23. Sharks »
- Nate Jones, @kn8
Author’s Note: Dedicated to my editor, Jerry Smith. A fellow sufferer of Selachophobia and all around Thalassophobe. This one is for you.
The Reef presents quite the conundrum when contemplating how much praise to heep upon it. Here we have what is essentially an Open Water ripoff (or send up or homage, you choose) by Australian director / screenwriter Andrew Traucki. Traucki is the man responsible for 2007′s Black Water (and the upcoming The Jungle), itself inspired by Open Water. Concluding, The Reef rips off Open Water and its own director’s Black Water, itself a ripoff of Open Water (of which all three films are allegedly based on true stories). Still with me? Hence the conundrum. Do I reward a film with considerable amounts of accolades when it so blatantly cannibalizes another film, not to mention the same director’s previous film? Well as it turns out, when the »
- Justin Lafleur
There's something more chilling about movies based on true events. Knowing that at least some version of what you're seeing on the screen actually happened in real life makes the movie more powerful. With the upcoming release of The Quiet Ones, we decided to reminisce about other movies based on horrific real life events.
The Quiet Ones is inspired by a true story of a university experiment done on a young girl that goes horribly, horribly wrong, so we focused on movies based on claims of supernatural true events.
There is a huge list of honorable mentions in this category. We could even break it down into sub-categories, like movies based on the antics of Ed Gein: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and Deranged. True crime reenactments: In Cold Blood, Helter Skelter and Zodiac just to name a few of the best. Even real »
- Scott Hallam
After taking audiences deep into the unknown, following an underwater cave diving team in the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world in the 3D film Sanctum, director Alister Grierson is heading into the vastness of the ocean this time. The Daily Mail (via The Guardian) has revealed a new film called Deep Water about the fate of a group of passengers who survive a crash in the ocean when their plane goes down during a flight to Beijing. It sounds like The Grey meets Open Water, but it doesn't sound like Grierson will try to use 3D in an attempt to immerse the audiences in the aquatic disaster like Sanctum. The paper points out the similarities to the headline-making story about a missing Malaysian plane (which has since been confirmed to crash in the Indian Ocean), and while Grierson admits there are similarities, the film went into »
- Ethan Anderton
14 items from 2014
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