7 items from 2014
Found footage films get a bad rap - and worse reviews. But the genre combines the vitality of punk rock with the reach of a video viral, and it has earned, if not respectability, then at least a respectful reappraisal. Some found footage (hereafter Ff) films are, admittedly, unwatchable (see The Devil Inside or, better, don't). But others, such as recent West Country-set religious chiller The Borderlands, or Bobcat Goldthwait's creepy Bigfoot hunt Willow Creek (out on May 2), are closer to unmissable.
Beyond an ominous title card, Ff films require little backstory, and the genre has only a brief history of its own. An uncompromising, hand-over-the-camera-lens look at totalitarianism in Vietnam-era America, Peter Watkins' 1971 mock-doc Punishment Park is considered Ff's chief forebear. Ruggiero Deodato's still-troubling Cannibal Holocaust (1979), however, is the most striking early archetype. Following a gonzo film crew into tribal Amazonia, it puts video-nasty atrocities through a film-school filter, »
Stop me if you've heard this one before: In elementary school at some point, we had to do extended book reports. I chose "Lord of the Flies," as you do. Well, part of the assignment was to select a character you liked at the beginning of the book and do a chapter-by-chapter diary from that character's point of view. I sympathized and empathized with Piggy, so he was an easy choice for my diary-writing. For a couple chapters, I wrote lengthy entries about the challenges of being a pudgy, bespectacled outsider in a group of increasingly feral kids, discovering how quickly the trappings of civilization fall away. Then, of course, very bad things happen to Piggy and his beloved conch. Briefly, I was crushed. Subsequently, I realized that my assignment had just gotten vastly easier. For the last chunk of the diary, I wrote nothing other than the chapter and "Still dead. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Genre: Drama | Fantasy
Creator: Aaron Zelman
Air Date/Time: March 9, 2014, 9/8c
Directed by: Charles McDougall
Cast: Omar Epps (“House”) as J. Martin Bellamy, Frances Fisher (“Titanic”) as Lucille Langston, Matt Craven (“Crimson Tide,” “A Few Good Men”) as Fred Langston, Devin Kelley (“Chernobyl Diaries,” “The Chicago Code”) as Maggie Langston, Mark Hildreth (“The Tudors”) as Pastor Tom Hale, Samaire Armstrong (“Entourage,” “The O.C.”) as Elaine Richards, Sam Hazeldine (“The Raven”) as Caleb Richards, Landon Gimenez as Jacob and Kurtwood Smith (“That ’70s Show”) as Henry Langston
The people of Arcadia, Missouri are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to reappear, on the series premiere of Resurrection, Sunday, March 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., Et) on the ABC Television Network.
In “The Returned,” an 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy »
- Erin Willard
ABC has been trying to hit on a lot of fronts lately, but nothing has been a more clear shot at fans of Lost than the upcoming Resurrection. The trailers don’t exactly give you that impression (see sizzle reel below), but they hint that it might be there, as does the general premise.
We watch as Jacob awakes in a rice field in China, clearly in unfamiliar territory. The case soon falls to Immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), who only knows that Jacob has made his way back to the United States, but hasn’t spoken a word since he was found. Though Martin is supposed to just drop Jacob off with Child Protective Services, he seems to be getting some information out of Jacob, and when Jacob confirms that he can find his way home, in Arcadia, Missouri, Martin takes him there.
The aging man who answers the door, »
- Marc Eastman
My mother is the reason I’m a genre film fan; it’s all her fault. Over the years I’ve made her countless lists of movies I think she’ll like. I made her watch Session 9 and Pontypool, and finally talked her into seeing Shaun of the Dead.
My mom got a Roku for Christmas. The tables have turned.
I suddenly find myself inundated with recommendations and Netflix instant discoveries. She’s digging deep. Most of her suggestions are indie, low budget, or “what’s that?” horror films.
My mom may have informed my cinematic tastes, but she’s also the woman who forced me to watch Devil in the theater, and goaded me into bumping Chernobyl Diaries and Apollo 18 up my queue. No one’s perfect.
Her tastes may sometimes be questionable, but she’s my mom, and I still do what she says. Because of her I watched Apartment 143. »
- Christine Makepeace
During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, ABC aired a new teaser for its upcoming "Resurrection," and in case you missed it, we have a look at it right here. The show rises on Sunday, March 9th.
The people of Arcadia, Missouri, are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. An 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there.
Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia; and an Immigration agent, Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Harold (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Garland (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. »
- Debi Moore
Please stop finding footage of idiots encountering demonic entities. Burn it, hide it, recycle it or relabel it 'SuBo Sex Tape'. Anything to prevent it from reaching the public, like this lazily cobbled together offshoot of the Paranormal Activity movies. This horror subgenre has numbed enough brains, with its limited format looking increasingly stale and the shaking camerawork threatening nothing more than motion sickness.
Marketed as a 'cousin' rather than direct sequel to the mostly impressive franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones revolves around the harebrained sleuthing of Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz), two Latino youngsters who recklessly probe a murder in a nearby apartment.
Before long, Jesse's increasingly volatile behaviour suggests that he may well be possessed. Or perhaps turned insane by his pal Hector's pathological insistence on »
7 items from 2014
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