12 items from 2015
Disjointed, incohesive, and psychologically ridiculous. And actually repulsive on multiple levels in ways that the first film was not. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The only good thing about Sinister was Ethan Hawke’s portrayal of a writer having what looked like a mental breakdown, to the degree that it was easy to suspect that perhaps he was the perpetrator of the family murder he was investigating for a true-crime book. Before that film was half over, however, such a potentially intriguing scenario was rendered impossible, and Sinister became yet another by-the-numbers demon-haunted funhouse. And here’s Sinister 2, which doesn’t have anything so minimally compelling going for it.
Another family has been targeted for ritual killings by the devil Bhughul, which is just a fancy name for the Boogeyman, and he’s »
- MaryAnn Johanson
We've all heard plenty about Captain America: Civil War, which will kick off Phase Three, but what of the movie that will follow in its sizable footsteps?
Below, Digital Spy rounds up everything we know so far about Doctor Strange.
When's it out?
Doctor Strange is scheduled for release on October 28, 2016 in the UK, and a week later in the Us on November 4. Principal photography is due to start in November in London.
The release date has already been pushed back from the formerly announced July slot, presumably to accommodate the star's notoriously packed schedule.
What's it about?
Hollywood is one interesting place. You take meetings for projects, you shop your projects around and getting your next gig typically happens that way…and then there’s Sinister 2. How many people can thank Twitter for their next big directorial project? Ciaran Foy can. The Citadel director was approached via Twitter by Sinister co-writer/director Scott Derrickson just to say that he enjoyed Ciaran’s awesome agoraphobic thriller, and one thing led to another, and faster than you can “you’re hired”, the Irish filmmaker was hired by Blumhouse to helm the follow-up to Derrickson’s 2012 horror hit, dealing with a malevolent spirit that targets children and typically leaves the rest of the family brutally murdered.
While we were eternally happy to sit down with Foy at Sinister 2‘s press junket and chat with the director about the film, a last minute bump left Icons somewhat high and dry, »
- Jerry Smith
You know the one about the young girl who gets possessed, nobody believes it, and someone of power has to perform an exorcism in the 3rd act? Sure you do. We get this movie or some variation therein, a few times a year. Sometimes it’s a demon, sometimes it’s a ghost, but it always ends up being roughly the same film outline. Popping bones and inhuman movement or contortion is a given, speaking in lounges, and there’s a fake out where you think the entity has left…But Not Yet! Before going any further I should say that yes, The Vatican Tapes is precisely one of these movies. The last time I caught one before this was last year’s Deliver Us from Evil, which came from Scott Derrickson. I didn’t care for that, but coincidentally Derrickson’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose was the last theatrical one I really enjoyed. »
- Mike Hassler
What Asmodexia does very well is create the sensation that were viewing an original exorcism movie. Thats an extremely difficult feat that quality films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose Exorcismus and The Rite failed to manage while a few rarities like Burnt Offerings The Conjuring and The Last Exorcism somehow pulled it off. Asmodexia is no Burnt Offerings The Conjuring or The Last Exorcism but its not a shabby film and the passion poured into the production does successfully register with viewers. »
Director Marcus Nispel might be primarily known for helming 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and 2009’s Friday The 13th remakes, as well as being in my opinion, one of the best music video directors of all time, but this week sees the release of Exeter, a film that has went through three years of shuffled release dates and name changes. Originally titled Backmask, Exeter is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the exorcism subgenre, a film that knows what its audience is, and revels in that self aware approach.
Nispel was nice enough to chat with us for a bit, regarding the long journey of Exeter and its do it yourself approach, the difference between a film like this and a big studio reboot, and…Charles Manson? Read on for one entertaining conversation with one of the nicest filmmakers working today, and catch Exeter when it hits »
- Jerry Smith
Marvel Studios is poised to make its first foray into the realm of the mystical with 2016’s Doctor Strange, and while the initial casting process for the comics adaptation was rather lengthy, things are now barreling towards a late 2015 start-date for production. The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister director Scott Derrickson is helming the picture, with Benedict Cumberbatch starring in the lead role of Doctor Strange, a Tony Stark-esque cocky surgeon who loses the use of his hands in an accident and, while on a subsequent quest to heal himself, stumbles across magic. Casting is underway, with Tilda Swinton in negotiations to play Strange’s mentor the Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks to reportedly play the villainous Baron Mordo, but we’re still about a year and a half away from the film’s release. With Marvel skipping Comic-Con this summer, we shouldn’t expect to see »
- Adam Chitwood
Now this is how to get people excited about a new Marvel movie. More action? New villains? Nope, Tilda Freaking Swinton. Per THR, the unbelievably talented actress/chameleon is in talks to join the cast of Marvel Studios’ superhero film Doctor Strange opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. The lynchpin here is that Swinton isn’t being eyed to play Cumberbatch’s female co-star or love interest. No, she’s in line to fill the role of the Ancient One, the Tibetan mystic who serves as Doctor Strange’s mentor and trains him to become the next Sorcerer Supreme. For those unfamiliar with the comics, Strange is a Tony Stark-esque cocky surgeon who loses the use of his hands in an accident, and while on a subsequent quest to heal himself, stumbles across magic. Cumberbatch is set to play the title character for director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), and »
- Adam Chitwood
The image is from Uncanny X-Men writer and artist Brandon Peterson, and was originally one of the covers from his run on the Doctor Strange comics. The image hints that Doctor Strange’s origin – a surgeon involved in a car accident that leaves his hands badly damaged – will remain in the movie adaptation. In the comic lore, Stephen Strange then travels to the Himalayas to be healed by the mysterious Ancient One, who teaches him magic.
It has been previously reported that Doctor Strange will not be an origin story, but – much in the same way as Man of Steel’s flashback structure – could reveal details of how he received his powers through the course of the film.
Doctor Strange is set to hit cinemas on November 17th »
- Oli Davis
While it is certainly the case that a female-led film is always welcome, it is somewhat unfortunate that most supernatural thrillers follow the tried and tested formula of having the sinister supernatural aspects centre on a woman. Whether it be demonic possession (Drag Me To Hell, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose), hauntings (Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, Amityville: The Awakening, It Follows) or psychic phenomenon (Premonition, The Gift) – women just seem to be Hollywood magnets for unexplained forces of darkness. Now we have another title to add to that list, and it is Black Lung.
Black Lung is a supernatural thriller that is set to star Amanda Seyfried (A Million Way To Die In The West) and Theo James (Divergent), with Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) on board as executive producer. It is the feature-length directorial debut of short-film writer-director Chase Palmer (Neo-Noir), and centres on a young miner »
- Sarah Myles
Arts critics tend to get a rough time of it in the movies. Even looking at this year's awards season hopefuls, Birdman casts a wonderfully scabrous Lindsay Duncan as a theatre critic who is determined to kill the hero's play, and Mr. Turner presents John Ruskin as a lisping, pretentious fop, a representation that has led some to take mild umbrage.
To look even further back, at Ratatouille's sneering Anton Ego, or Lady In The Water's film-savvy 'straw critic', or Theatre Of Blood's gleefully murderous tract, there's not a whole lot of love for critics in film. Any of this might give way to the preconception that critics, especially film critics, don't actually like films and that they're out of touch with both the filmmakers whose works they »
As Deliver Us From Evil lands on disc in the UK, we look back at key lessons the movies teach us about possession...
The idea of demonic possession goes back thousands of years, to before we had film. Most religions carry their own interpretation of what it means for a person to be 'possessed' by a demon or a spirit and it's a complicated, arcane subject shrouded in mystery and ritual.
The Sumerians, thousands of years before Christ, believed all diseases were caused by 'sickness demons' and had their sorcerers attempt early exorcisms as cures. The Quran talks extensively of Jinn (demons) that can drive people to insanity and may only be expelled via worship. In the Bible, Satan and his demons are very much at large using human beings as vessels for devilish deeds. Jesus casts a whole bunch of them out before he's accused of being demon-possessed himself »
12 items from 2015
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