16 items from 2014
With movies like the revenge-via-circular-saw High Tension and the skin-shredding Piranha remake, director Alexandre Aja has memorably dunked his characters in the blood bucket. But Aja’s next project, an adaptation of The 9th Life of Louis Drax, is more a supernatural thriller than a blood-and-bones picture, and principal photography on the film has now begun.
“Vancouver and London, October 27, 2014 – Miramax, the global film and television producer and distributor, along with the film’s producers AntColony Films and Brightlight Pictures announced today the start of principal photography on the supernatural thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax starring Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Fall), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Need for Speed, Triple Nine) and Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold, The Amazing Spider-man 2).
- Derek Anderson
PG-13 rated horror from the land of Blumhouse, granted. But Ouija has one or two things going for it...
When you're basing a big screen movie off of something other than a book or a successful television show or another movie, you're looking for trouble. When you base your film off of a popular childhood toy, you're setting yourself up for failure. You have to be amazingly creative to pull that little trick off, something the Pixar clan accomplished with the Toy Story films and Miller and Lord pulled off with the world of Lego. However, those games are all friendly, colorful games. There's a darker game sitting on shelves with the Hasbro stamp, and that's the Ouija board.
Part toy, part hoax, part occult tool, the Ouija has a unique place in popular culture. Popularized in the Western world by American spiritualist Pearl Cullan circa Wwi as a tool to contact the dead, »
"Ouija" is professionally made, a classically-styled ghost story/mystery, and perhaps the single strangest piece of product placement ever made. It is also, unfortunately, so by-the-numbers that it feels like it was made by a computer program designed to simulate horror films. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White have been co-writers on films like "The Possession" and "Knowing," but this time out, White is also directing. He knows what he's doing, and the way the film is made, it looks and feels exactly like it's supposed to feel. It is the very model of what Blumhouse wants to make. It's slick. It's simple and self-contained. It has a very immediate and understandable hook. It should work. It doesn't, though, and it's an exercise in frustration as a result. When Debbie (Shelley Hennig) apparently kills herself, her best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) has a hard time accepting it as a suicide. She »
- Drew McWeeny
After doing rigorous testing, i.e., sitting through “Ouija”, we can now confirm that you can, in fact, jump out of your seat with fear and roll your eyes at the same time. This film is effectively scary, filled with plenty of jump moments and a few slow-burning scenes, but the scares aren’t enough to balance the poor writing and lack of imagination. We can’t help but wonder what movie would have resulted had a version from Marti Noxon (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the underrated “Fright Night” remake) actually made it to the screen. She was attached to the script, but this Hasbro-produced film shuffled through a number of writers and filmmakers before finally landing on first-time director Stiles White, who wrote the script with Juliet Snowden. The pair had previously worked together on critical disasters “The Possession,” “Knowing” and “Boogeyman.” But instead of Noxon’s »
- Kimber Myers
It’s the rare Hasbro/Michael Bay production that may actually dissuade audiences from buying the product it’s selling, but aside from that rather charming distinction, “Ouija” is fairly routine stuff. A tale of two teenage sisters, their very expendable friends and the creepy board game that just won’t leave them alone, this silly but straight-faced supernatural thriller manages to elicit an occasional shudder in between cheap jolts and false scares, emerging as a feat of competent direction (by debuting helmer Stiles White) over derivative scripting (by White and writing partner Juliet Snowden). Friendly box office spirits are already smiling upon Universal’s Oct. 24 release, and should continue to hover at least through Halloween weekend.
“Calm down, it’s only a game,” whispers young Debbie (Claire Beale) as she introduces her terrified friend, Laine (Afra Tully), to the mysteries of Ouija, using a heart-shaped planchette and an ornate »
- Justin Chang
Open Your Mind: It’s Not Just a Game.
This Halloween, find out what happens when a deadly presence refuses to go in the new film, Ouija.
Universal Pictures presents a Platinum Dunes/Blumhouse production—in association with Hasbro Studios to bring to the screen Ouija, a supernatural thriller in which a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they unwittingly make contact with a dark power from the other side. What started as a game will unleash an evil only they can stop.
Wamg invites you to enter for a chance to win passes (Good for 2) to the advance screening of Ouija on October 22nd at 7Pm in the St. »
- Movie Geeks
There aren't a lot of promising opportunities for big screen horror this fall it seems, but Universal Pictures is going to try to rake in the Halloween audiences with Ouija, their supernatural horror adventure inspired by the creepy "board game" of the same name. But as the tagline so obviously points out, this isn't a game. A new theatrical trailer has arrived, and while it's a little better than the first teaser trailer, it still hits every horror cliche you would expect in a film like this from creepy dolls to laughing kids. Though I like the use of the game board eyepiece, Everything else seems so predictable and full of cheap jump scares. Watch below! Here's the UK trailer for Stiles White's Ouija from YouTube (via The Playlist): Ouija is directed by Stiles White, director of Boogeyman, The Possession and Knowing, who co-wrote the script with Juliet Snowden, »
- Ethan Anderton
We’re still very much in the midst of August, but Universal is already taking steps to ensure that Ouija will be a familiar name by the time October rolls around. A new TV spot for the upcoming horror title has landed online, tightening footage we already saw in the first theatrical preview into a concise, if less scary teaser.
Ouija is one of a few horror pics that will be competing for your screams (and hard-earned cash) come Halloween – earlier in the month, we’ll be getting The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle, anthology ABCs of Death 2, horror-tinged battle epic Dracula Untold and freaky threequel V/H/S Viral. So what sets this one apart? Its young, photogenic cast (which includes a wealth of supporting players from teen-targeted TV) might be enough.
- Isaac Feldberg
Harvest Home: McNaughton’s Return Yields Blighted Crop
Fans of director John McNaughton, known for his gruesome cult classic Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990), as well as that tawdry neo-noir Wild Things (1998), will be happy to realize he’s returned to filmmaking with The Harvest, his first feature film since 2001. An indie thriller written by first time screenwriter Stephen Lancellotti, it’s headlined by the likes of Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton. While there are several standout moments in the film, it’s constantly marred by an underwhelming screenplay that has a few too many inconsistencies to support the development of tension or believability. The insistent need for extravagant twists undermines the logic of the narrative, something unnecessary here considering the intensity of the performances.
Katherine (Morton) and Richard (Shannon) care for their son Andy (Charlie Tahan) in their isolated home in the countryside. Both working in the medical profession, »
- Nicholas Bell
When will you kids learn? As demonstrated in the first trailer for the upcoming Ouija, If you don't want demons in your house, then don't summon them with an Ouija board and then wonder where they came from. Stiles White, writer of supernatural flick The Possession and a credited co-writer on the truly kooky Knowing, makes his directorial debut. Olivia Cooke, a winning presence on TV's Bates Motel but stuck in a thankless role on this year's The Quiet Ones, stars with Douglas Smith (Stage Fright). Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes is involved, and so is Jason Blum, a specialist in low-budget horror, whose Paranormal Activity featured a Ouija board. The trailers features a number of familiar beats -- snippets of horror moments we've all seen...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The trailer has been playing in theaters for nearly a month now, and with the release of The Purge: Anarchy coming this weekend, Universal Pictures has finally decided to unleash the trailer for their next horror venture Ouija. Inspired by the creepy, supernatural "board game" of the same name, the film follows a group of friends who get caught up in the dark powers of this mystical board, forcing each of them to confront unimaginable horrors. Actually, by the looks of this trailer, the horrors are pretty basic, and don't really offer anything in the vein of a promising story. It just hits every cliche in the book pretty hard. Watch! Here's the first trailer for Stiles White's Oujia, from the "Pretty Little Liars" Facebook page: Ouija is directed by Stiles White, director of Boogeyman, The Possession and Knowing, who co-wrote the script with Juliet Snowden, the co-writer of all those films. »
- Ethan Anderton
While horror is dominating Television these days in everything from Hannibal, Penny Dreadful, and Bates Motel already airing, the upcoming series of Del Toro’s The Strain set to debut soon and god knows how many other shows being developed as I write this, I often ask myself: “Wouldn’t it be nice if this or that would be made into a series?”. With it being abundantly clear that execs are taking the turning of popular films and franchises into decent or downright awesome series (Anybody see Fargo? Wow), there are a handful of books and/or films that I think warrant a solid weekly, if not limited series run on TV. One example is the 1995 film adaption of my favorite Dean Koontz book of all time, his 1992 novel, Hideaway.
- Jerry Smith
Madison Davenport will play the daughter of Tina Fey's character, an artist who is angry because she has to look over her mother. Amy Poehler plays Tina Fey's sister, as both siblings decide to throw one last major party in their childhood home, before it is sold. James Brolin, Ike Barinholtz and Maya Rudolph, who joined the cast last week, also star.
Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) is directing from a screenplay by Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live). Tina Fey is producing alongside Jay Roach and John C. Lyons, with Amy Poehler, Jeff Richmond and Brian Bell serving as executive producers.
Director: Jorge Michel Grau
Writer: Evan M. Wiener
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau’s excellent 2010 debut, We Are What We Are already received the English language treatment with Jim Mickle’s 2013 version, so perhaps it’s no surprise to see Grau already helming his own English language debut with this dramatic thriller. While Kyra Sedgwick still pops up in interesting vehicles, we’re hoping this isn’t of similar quality as her union with Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal in The Possession (2012). Frank Grillo is a consistently underrated element and we’ve been damn curious to see what Grau’s been going to show us next.
Gist: A teen traveling with her mother to a treatment center for her agoraphobia has to fight for their lives against a gunman who attacks them. »
- Nicholas Bell
From his modest start in that ramshackle cabin in the woods what must seem like a lifetime ago, Sam Raimi has become one of the more versatile and beloved directors in Hollywood. With Scream Factory's Blu-ray release of Darkman today, we bring you our Top 9 Sam Raimi Films - Horror and Otherwise.
We're going to keep this list to films directed by Raimi. If we were to include the movies he's acted in, or god forbid produced, we'd be here all night. But a few of his production credits like 30 Days of Night, both of The Grudge films, Boogeyman, The Possession, Timecop and of course the Evil Dead remake are noteworthy.
Some honorable directorial mentions include his most recent, Oz the Great and Powerful. It might not have been the epic it was billed to be, but it looked fantastic; and when you manage to haul in half a billion »
- Scott Hallam
Another tidbit of official release information today comes directly from the camp of Blumhouse Productions' upcoming board game chiller 'Ouija'. Based on the classic demon summoning Hasbro game the movie revolves around a group of friends - who you guessed it - unleash a dark force into their lives. 'Ouija' is set to hit theatres from 24 October 2014, just in time for the Halloween season. The project sees 'The Possession' writing duo Juliet Snowden and Stiles White co-direct with Olivia Cooke -below ('Bates Motel'), Daren Kagasoff ('The Secret Life of the American Teenager'), Douglas Smith ('Stage Fright'), Bianca A. Santos ('The Fosters'), Erin Moriarty ('The Watch'), Ana Coto ('DisCONNECTED') and Vivis Colombetti ('Paranormal Activity 2') all on board to stay. »
16 items from 2014
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