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Look through the history of horror movies and it’s plain to see the ones that sent us cowering behind the Ben & Jerry’s contained an element of truth, were at least based on a creepy yarn that had been spun around town, or an ancient tale from folklore. Frights from fiction are a blast and all, but nothing sets the spine tingling quite like those immortal words: ‘based on a true story’.
Over the decades there have entries in the genre all based on truth; from those inspired by legendary killers (Silence Of The Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer), fabled monsters (The Mothman Prophecies, Jaws), cases of possession (The Exorcist), as well as ghosts (The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity).
To this day Hollywood writers and studio heads continue to seek out something new and real to frighten us with. Only recently Sony optioned a script titled The Bringing, »
- Shaun Davis
There comes a time that we all fear as movie fans–that moment when you actually sit down to watch a film that either you, or the media, has been hyping up in your head. The premise of It Follows is somewhat preposterous at first mention: On their second date, Jay and Hugh have sex. Afterwards, he chloroforms her (you know, like all the best dates probably end) and she wakes up tied to a wheelchair. Hugh informs Jay that he’s passed onto her a sort of curse in which an entity, which can take on any human form, will relentlessly pursue her until it either kills her or she passes the curse onto someone else by sleeping with them. If the person she passes it onto is killed by their pursuer, the curse reverts back to her again. Initially, Jay’s sister and friends don’t believe there truly is anything after her, »
- Josh Soriano
Motion picture and television studio Stx Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions have officially titled their Joel Edgerton-helmed film The Gift, it was announced today by Adam Fogelson, Chairman of Stx Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group.
Set to debut on July 31, 2015, this chilling, contemporary psychological thriller marks the writing and directorial debut of acclaimed actor Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty, Warrior), and stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton. The film is produced by Rebecca Yeldham (On the Road, The Kite Runner) and Jason Blum (Whiplash, The Purge).
Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone? Even if you are unaware of how, or when, and even who you may have wronged…chances are there is someone out there who won’t ever forget it…or you.
- Michelle McCue
Radius is following through on its promised expansion of “It Follows,” taking the horror pic into 1,200 U.S. theaters this weekend.
“It Follows” launched on Friday the 13th in four theaters and grossed an impressive $160,089 in its first weekend — the best opening in limited release for a horror film since 2010’s “Paranormal Activity” — causing Radius to pull the plug on plans for a March 27 DVD/VOD release.
It then expanded to 32 locations for its second weekend, grossing $344,874 and finishing 19th on the box office chart. The film, directed by David Robert Mitchell from his own script, has a 94% “fresh” rating on the Rotten Tomatoes site.
Maika Monroe stars as a 19-year-old who, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions — leaving her unable to shake the sensation that someone or something is following her. Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto and Jake Weary also star.
Radius said »
- Dave McNary
You may have heard some positive buzz on the indie horror film It Follows from the festival circuit these past few months, and apparently the strong word did not fall on deaf ears. While originally intended for a VOD release after a limited opening, RADiUS has opted to expand writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s horror pic to 1,200 theaters starting this Friday, March 27th—news that was originally broken by the folks at Bloody Disgusting last week. The studio was bolstered by highly positive reviews for the pic (read Perri's glowing review here), as well as the fact that it had the best limited opening for a horror film since 2007’s Paranormal Activity. It Follows stars Maika Monroe (The Guest) as Jay, a young teenager who, after a strange sexual encounter, finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions and a sense that something is…following her. Perri was a big fan of the film, »
- Adam Chitwood
We've been signing the praises of Adam Mason on the site for years. The American horror director has a taste for the off-beat and usually has a very specific take on what would seen to be a generic genre exercise. Blood River comes immediately to mind, but he's made some great films over the past years including Luster and Not Safe for Work, which he co-wrote with long time collaborator Simon Boyes.
His new film is called Hangman. It recently played at SXSW to great praise, so we tracked down the first trailer for you to take a look at. Again, while the footage may appear to ape the Paranormal Activity found footage feel, you can tell there is something much more sinis [Continued ...] »
Of the division’s three remaining staffers, two will now report to newly appointed president of production Marc Evans. Powell will now answer to Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey and focus on TV and digital projects, with one other staffer moving with her. Powell is currently overseeing four pilots including “School of Rock” at Nickelodeon (which was ordered at right to series), “Minority Report” at Fox and “Shooter” at USA. New hire Dina Hillier will join Powell as an exec focused on scripted comedy.
On March 13, Variety asked Paramount whether the studio was shuttering Insurge, and Par spokeswoman Katie »
- Justin Kroll
When you get a chance to interview Jason Blum, no matter how long you’re given, the timeframe will never be long enough. With so many projects being produced by Blumhouse Productions, there are so many different questions worth asking.
Recently, Jason was in Austin to promote his new film Unfriended, which kicked my South by Southwest festival off with a horrifying bang, and ten minutes flew by as I pulled a few other titles out of my grab-bag assortment of questions. When you walk into one of his interviews, you better be ready. Time is of the essence, working against your best efforts to touch on projects that are begging for updates or new information.
I started the interview by asking about Unfriended, and how the ambitious nature of a laptop-screen-view presents certain problems, but I quickly found myself begging for some additional updates. Calling back to a previous »
- Matt Donato
Horror is the most formulaic genre in cinema – or, perhaps, simply the one in which filmmakers seem most willing to rely on formula. The genre often descends into a spiral of derivative shtick, with the occasional good or great film spawning ten knockoffs that then give rise to another fifty of their own imitators. See Paranormal Activity, a novel and creepy film (a Blair Witch Project copycat itself? perhaps), which has jumpstarted the genre’s most recent god-awful trend: found-footage horror. But even Paranormal Activity stood by certain rules of its genre, a condition the new horror flick It Follows renders itself blissfully, thrillingly free of.
At least for the first two-thirds or so. The film opens with a gripping sequence, horrifying in its simplicity. Writer-director David Robert Mitchell places his camera in the middle of a suburban street and simply, well, follows in a 360-degree pivot as a terrified »
- Patrick Dunn
Horror fans know that it has become increasingly rare for a horror film to scare them anymore. Many have given up but there are some that hold out hope. It doesn’t help when a film that tours the festival circuit gets tons of praise that, when finally released, feels like a bit a disappointment to those fans that were expecting another classic, a new movie that they could wholeheartedly recommend to anyone to show them the best of the genre. Let’s get it out of the way, It Follows has been so hyped up as the return of American Horror but I assure you it is not but shouldn’t be shrugged off as pure hype either. In fact, the last time I heard that term was Hatchet and I was disappointed in that film as well (Hatchet II was better).
Maika Monroe plays Jay, a young woman »
- Andy Triefenbach
An effectively creepy spin on found-footage horror, “Hangman” finds a family unwittingly playing host to a malevolent intruder who’s broken into their home — and stayed there, unseen, while watching their every move on surveillance cameras he’s installed. Brit horror specialist Adam Mason’s latest may provide too abrupt a payoff for those genre fans expecting more standard bloody thrills. But the long buildup will strike others as sufficiently, distinctly unnerving, with its emphasis on violated privacy and the oblivious proximity of victims to a maniac practically underfoot. Though “Hangman” will rep a somewhat tricky sell, its surface similarities to home-invasion thrillers and “Paranormal Activity”-type pics should be exploitable enough for some theatrical exposure. As with other superior exercises in found-footage suspense, the feature’s impact will be considerably diminished on the smallscreen.
After a prologue showing the grim denouement of our antagonist’s usual m.o. in a prior family’s home, »
- Dennis Harvey
When you think of blockbuster movies, you think of huge budgets, astronomical paydays for its stars, and a mammoth press tour. But every once and awhile, a smaller movie proves that all wrong. As we gear up for the spring and summer movie extravaganzas, we wanted to take a look back at the films that were made on a shoestring budget (at least by Hollywood standards) and wound up making some serious bank. You don’t always need A-listers and commercial tie-ins for a movie to be a box office hit, and these 10 classics (which are listed in no particular order) prove just that.
Note: all box office estimates are courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Estimated Budget: $15,000
Box Office Tally: $108 million
Thanks to strong word of mouth and a viral campaign, this spooky found footage horror flick (sound familiar?) about a couple being haunted by spirits in the wee »
- Aly Semigran
Read More: How to Make a Low-Budget Horror Film (from 'Insidious,' 'Paranormal Activity' Producer) The third installment of the popular "Insidious" franchise is just around the corner. "Chapter Three" is a prequel to the two films that came before it, chronicling how Elise Rainier, a gifted psychic, reluctantly agrees to use her powers to connect to the dead in order to help a teenage girl under threat. The original "Insidious" and its first sequel followed the haunting of the Lambert family, whose parents were played by Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson. The upcoming prequel features a new cast, including Dermot Mulroney and Lin Shaye, but appears to be just as spooky. In the official trailer (posted above), the mystery and terror of "Insidious: Chapter 3" is laid out carefully, including the risk of Elise using her powers and the strange supernatural occurrences happening around town. For fans of the "Insidious" franchise, »
- David Canfield
Gordon Fleming's asbestos removal crew were infected by it in 2001's Session 9, Lance Preston and his ghost investigation team faced it in 2011's Grave Encounters, and soon a group of teenagers will also become immersed in the creepy, haunting, and ultimately mind-bending atmosphere of an abandoned asylum in Marcus Nispel's Exeter (formerly known as Backmask). Featured in our latest round-up, the next film from the director of the Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes has been acquired for U.S. distribution and given a release date. Also included in this go-around is the poster for The Diabolical, a new horror film starring Ali Larter, as well as a look at Super7 and Secret Base's Green Slime Alien soft vinyl figure, going on sale this Friday.
- Derek Anderson
Jason Blum & the director of the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th returns with Exeter, formally Backmask. If you have DirecTV, you will be the first to see the flick on July 2nd. From the Press Release:
Viva Pictures and Directv announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to Exeter, a feature film from the director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th and the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious. The film will debut exclusively on Directv on July 2 followed by a theatrical release by Viva Pictures later this year.
After an all-night party at an abandoned asylum known for its horrific treatment of its patients, a group of ordinary teens decide to tinker with the occult, leading to a possession, »
- Andy Triefenbach
While the Paranormal Activity franchise seemed to burn itself out after a couple of sequels, Leigh Whannell and James Wan have managed to make two consecutive Insidious films that haven't diminished in quality very much. With Wan departing for Furious 7, Leigh Whannell took over as director on Insidious: Chapter 3 which looks like it may be the rare third horror movie that is as good as it's predecessors. With Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne gone, Insidious: Chapter 3 depends »
- Alex Maidy
Whilst superheroes have made the idea popular, it's no surprise that the 'cinematic universe' model could spread to other genres. Horror in particular has always been one which has dabbled in the idea of crossovers in the past (eg. "Freddy vs. Jason").
But what about a shared cinematic universe between franchises within the same company? Blumhouse Productions have quickly established several of their own franchises in recent years, the most notable being the "Paranormal Activity," "Insidious" and "Sinister" franchises with are all set to get another entry each this year.
- Garth Franklin
Over a year and a half ago, I talked to super-producer Jason Blum while he was at the press junket for Insidious: Chapter 2. While there, I brought up a little flick called Area 51, which Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli had already been working on for a rather long time. It was at this point that Jason told me that Oren was still “futzing” with the film, and that it was still in post-production even all those years later.
Fast-forward a year and a half, to today, and I had the chance to meet with Jason again to talk Unfriended (which I reviewed last night) at South by Southwest. Of course, I wanted an Area 51 update from the producer. Surely Oren couldn’t still be “futzing,” could he?
Here’s what Jason had to say about the state of Peli’s long-awaited second feature:
“The movie is officially done. »
- Matt Donato
Scott Davis looks at the big releases on Blu-ray and DVD this week in the UK…
Fresh from its success through awards season, culminating in its win for Best Adapted Screenplay at last month’s Academy Awards, The Imitation Game is finally released on Blu-ray and DVD. With a hugely impressive worldwide haul of almost $200million, the film has been a huge success with audiences, and is set to do the same when its released today. Starring Oscar nominees Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, alongside Charles Dance, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong, the film also gets a limited edition steelbook release through Zavvi.
Order The Imitation Game On Blu-ray Here
Read what we thought on the film here.
Another in a long line of strong British releases this year, ’71 was met with huge critical acclaim when it has it’s released at the tail end of last year. »
- Scott J. Davis
High school is not easy. Between the academic pressure and the raging hormones, it's not always an idyllic four years. But when a student becomes the victim of daily bullying, especially at the hands of a former friend, life can suddenly become unbearable. That's the premise for the upcoming film A Girl Like Her, a fictional story that utilizes the same found footage style of filmmaking made famous by movies like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity - proving that being stuck in high school with a mean girl can be its own kind of horror story. In the film, »
- Michael Miller, @write_miller
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