Last Scream For The Ward

I didn’t get a chance to talk about some recent horror flicks I’ve seen on this week’s podcast, so here goes.

Scream 4. I remember being genuinely shocked at the first Scream film in 1996 and even the 2 sequels (in 1997, and 2000) weren’t bad at all. There was the feeling that no-one was safe and they were, and still are, smart slasher films. I can see the point of attempting a fourth film, as Hollywood loves a good film that can rely on nostalgia and a known series. This just didn’t do it for me though. It still felt like a ’90s film, and wasn’t as shocking, seeing as horror films have given us Saw and Hostel levels of gore in the intervening years. If they killed Neve Campbell, then I’d be shocked. The, “New Decade. New Rules” premise/tagline is a good one, but the story doesn’t live up to that potential. Oh, and Courtney Cox’s facelift just seems wrong.

The Last Exorcism was a nice surprise. A found footage film released last year it follows a disillusioned evangelical preacher/exorcist who visits a farmer’s family and meets his match. It’s a slow build, but a good one.

For other similarly scary fake doco films, check out Rec (remade in America as Quarantine), Interview with the Assassin, or one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen, Aussie film Lake Mungo.

The Ward should be avoided. Amber Heard plays a woman in a mental asylum in the ’60s and meets a few fellow inmates, who aren’t that interesting, just like the rest of this predictable film directed by John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween). It tries to be a suspenseful horror film with a twist, but it’s really none of those things.

Walking and Halls Montages

Some very impressive editing here, consisting of clips from a bunch of films showing various characters walking and running and a similar one focused on hallways. Trust me, both are better than they sound.

 

The Woman in Black Trailer

Now this is how you make a creepy trailer. Starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe and opening in February is this remake of a 1989 film (and also a book and stageplay), made by the rejuvenated Hammer Films, who also made the great Let Me In remake.

Frozen Review

Just a quick one to say that this film is great and you should see it. There’s been far too many bad thriller/horror films out in the last few years, but occasionally a stripped down, surprising one will stand out, such as Open Water, Descent and this little beauty. Apart from Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X-Men trilogy), there are’t any recognisable actors, though all 3 of the main cast, which includes Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers do a great job. It almost veers towards laughable territory thanks to the frequent hysterics, but the characters (two lovers, and his best mate) are well rounded and sympathetic.

Having the 3 stuck on an abandoned ski lift for the majority of a film sounds like a boring premise, but writer/director Adam Green (Hatchet) does a superb job of keeping the plot diverse, throwing in enough elements such as humorous pop culture references, almost rescues and some hungry wolves that you won’t know what to expect, and I was certainly surprised by Green’s harsh treatment of his characters, considering there’s only 3 of them. Frozen is suspenseful and very entertaining and goes to show how a well crafted film can be made from such a basic concept.

Check the trailer out below and the film out now.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark Monsters

A couple of good trailers, and hopefully good films, have been released recently.

Gareth Edwards’ film, simply entitled Monsters, seems almost like  a one man band, as Edwards is the writer, director and visual effects artist. Inspired by Jurassic Park, the film follows 2 people as they traverse a quarantined part of Mexico, while the Mexican and U.S armies battle a bunch of creatures. It opens on October 29 in America and in November 12 in the UK.

Guillermo del Toro has carved out quite the niche for himself in the last few years, as director (the 2 Hellboy films), writer (Splice), producer (The Orphanage) or as all 3 (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth). His next film, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark stars Katie Holmes and Aussie Guy Pearce. Co-written and produced by del Toro, the film tells of a young girl who discovers monsters in her family’s new house. It opens on January 21 next year. Effectively creepy trailer of the film, which is a remake of a 1973 TV movie, below.

Blu-Ray Alien Anthology Trailer

Now I really want a Blu-Ray player. This 6 disc set comes out on October 26. Complete with the 4 films, plus a massive 60 hours (!) of extra features, this will make you drool indeed. Let’s not forget that Ridley Scott is prepping 2 prequels to the original film too, which won’t star Ripley, and will be set about 30 years before Alien. The first prequel should be out in 2011 or 12.

Devil Trailer

This looks interesting. Co-written by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Happening) and the first of a proposed trilogy, Devil is about a group of people trapped in an elevator, one of whom is the devil in disguise.  Inspired by And Then There Were None (formerly known as Ten Little Indians), Agatha Christie’s best selling  novel, the film seems to have a good mix of supernatural, drama and thriller moments. It opens September 17.

The Paranormally Active Engineer

I saw the much hyped low budget film Paranormal Activity last week, and though it didn’t terrify me, I certainly admired it’s film-making creativity. To read my review of the most financially successful film ever made, go here.

Up at the blog for Arcana magazine I also put up a preview of The Engineer, a great sci-fi series which is now available from Archaia for only $10. That’s a bargain for a full colour 128 pager.

Isolation Review

Isolation FilmThis film was made in 2005 and screened at the Fantastic Fest film festival a year later, winning best picture and best director. It deserves it. There are so many gems like this that get overlooked, and it’s also one of those films that you recommend to everyone you know – thus this review.

For some reason it was a new release at my local Blockbuster, but we do tend to get films later than everyone else in Australia. I like the odd horror film and this is nothing like any other recent entry in the genre. There’s no masked killer, no attractive girls running through the forest and no creatively vicious deaths.

Isolation is an Irish film written and directed by Billy O’Brien (who has criminally made nothing since for some reason). It really is an edge of your seat thriller with an indie film approach and the suspense of Hitchcock at his best. There’s not a huge cast, or lots of eerie music, and it’s arty look makes it immediately leave all standard slasher films in its wake.

Now, here’s the hard sell. Isolation is set in a remote farm where a genetically engineered cow gives birth to something rather nasty, and blood and terror ensues. It may seem like a laughable concept but it’s anything but. There’s definite nods to the classic Alien and even though it’s set in a somber and muddy place the farm looks textured and claustrophobic. I was genuinely surprised a few times and the make-up effects are subtly gross, but don’t worry there’s nothing resembling a cow on its hind legs squirting acid from its udders. It’s a slow burn with engaging characters in a desperate situation.

Just watch this film if you see it on the shelves. It’s a daring approach in a genre that too often tries anything but.

Horror Film Props Auction

For fans of horror films, this is your chance to take something home from a variety of film classics or recent releases. If you live in California, you can see the props for yourself next Saturday, or you can go on-line and still be a part of this unique event. Press release below.

Premiere Props announced Friday that the live horror-themed charity auction of never before seen movie props and costumes just got bigger! Presented by Fangoria, DreadCentral.com and hosted by Ryan “Rotten” Turek from ShockTillYouDrop.com the live auction will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Premiere Props’ warehouse in El Segundo, California (128 Sierra Street, El Segundo, CA 90245) with proceeds to benefit the Entertainment Industry Foundation. There will be a preview from 9am – 11am, and the auction will begin at 11am. As a special treat, bidders who come down to Premiere Props’ warehouse will have the opportunity to meet Charles Band, horror film producer of The Gingerdead Man, Subspecies, The Puppet Master Feature Film Series ,Ghoulies ,Evil Bong, Trancers and many more.

Film fans and collectors will have the chance to own rare costumes and props from fan favorites including Evil Bong, Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge,  The Cave, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Quarantine, Lakeview Terrace, Wrong Turn, Cloverfield, Captivity, The Mummy Returns, One Missed Call, Ancient, Red Dragon, The Simpsons Halloween Special XII, Resident Evil: Extinction, Underworld Evolution  and many, many more!  Also, rare back issues of  Fangoria, have been added to the list of items up for bid.

Several hundred props from horror classics will be auctioned off with a set portion of the proceeds benefiting the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The charity auction will feature movie collectibles and props including:
·        Aeon Flux- An action Monican assault rifle prop used by a hit team member in the film.
·        Captivity-Jen’s (Elisha Cuthbert) hero brown fuzzy w/ sheer white/brown bow teddy bear.
·        Captivity-Jen’s (Elisha Cuthbert) hero silver blender used to feed pureed flesh.
·        Evil Bong-Original movie prop from the stoner-horror film starring Tommy Chong.
·        Lakeview Terrace- Abel’s (Samuel Jackson) camel tan silk “Coconut Grove” 2 button sport coat, cement gray w/ front pleat “John W. Nordstrom” cuffed pants.
·        Lakeview Terrace- Abel’s (Samuel Jackson) screen worn hero police officer uniform and many more of Abel’s hero costumes!
·        Cloverfield-Hud’s (T.J. Miller) screen worn hero costume. Includes a soiled and bloodstained light-blue “Ben Sherman” button-up shirt.
·        Cloverfield- Rob’s (Michael Stahl-David) screen worn hero costume. Features a blue and white striped button up “John Varvatos USA” shirt” with blood stains and holes.
·        Ghoulies-Fish Ghoulie from the original mold. Notorious Ghoulie that pops out of the toilet! Signed and dated by the FX creator John Carl Buechler and producer Charles Band. Comes with original poster.
·        Grindhouse-Stuntman Mike’s (Kurt Russell) “Death Proof” screen worn costume, including a black “American Apparel” t-shirt and a pair of “Levi” blue jeans.
·        Rob Zombie’s Halloween-Michael Myer’s (Tyler Mane) tattered grey bath robe.
·        Hell Ride-A “Sears” wooden suit case with four playing cards glued on the front.
·        Hell Ride-A fleet of working motorcycles from the movie, including classic antique Indian Chief Motorcycles, Harley Davidson Motorcycles and more!
·        Jurassic Park-A limited edition boxed set of nine offset lithographic prints of the Jurassic Park dinosaurs.
·        One Missed Call-Beth’s (Shannyn Sossamon) “Banana Republic” cardigan, “J Crew” wide neck shirt and “Club Monaco” pants.
·          Puppet Master-Blade, Leech Woman, Decapitron and Torch
original 1:1 scale replica puppets from the early Puppet Master
films.
·        Quarantine-  Jake’s (Jay Hernandez) bloody, yellow zip up jacket with neon yellow/white reflective stripes and a neon yellow “Morning Pride” patch on the right side of the jacket.
·        Sleepy Hollow-A screen used wooden cross which reads “Jonathan Masbeth” (Mark Spalding) across it.
·        The Cave-The actual full size animatronic monster from
The Cave.
·        The Eye-Sydney’s (Jessica Alba) long sleeve blouse and pinstripe pants.
·       The Gingerdead Man Puppet-Angry cookie from the original mold – inhabited by the spirit of crazy Gary Busey from the notorious film The Gingerdead Man.
·        The Mummy Returns-A giant Egyptian-style tablet that has been studio-distressed.
·        The Simpsons-An original production cell of Bart as Harry Potter wizard in “Treehouse of Horror XII.”
·        Underworld Evolution-Selene’s (Kate Beckinsale) screen used boot knife.

“We are excited to be partnering with Charles Band, Fangoria, DreadCentral.com and ShockTillYouDrop.com for the scariest horror-filled auction ever,” said Dan Levin, Vice President of Marketing for Premiere Props.  “Collectors will be amazed with the rare horror super hero costumes and movie memorabilia that will be up for bid.”

“I’ve collected movie props and original art from the moment I started to make movies! I’ve also set aside hundreds of items from my own films over the years. I’m excited to see some of these items go up for sale on October 11th thru the great dudes at Premiere Props! I also look forward to meeting fellow collectors on that day,” Charles Band, Founder of Full Moon Features.

“We always aim to bring our fans and readers the best when it comes to horror, and Premiere Props offers the best horror-themed items without costing you an arm and a leg,” Tony Timpone, Editor-in-Chief of Fangoria.

“There’s no question Premiere Props has established itself as the leading resource of horror and film memorabilia. No one does a better job when it comes to offering fans a chance to own their favorite bit of haunted history. The opportunity to work with them is one that we jumped at quicker than a cat-scare, and we look forward to providing collectors with final cut prices on all things that have gone bump in the night on the big screen,” Steve Barton, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of DreadCentral.com.

“Next to being on the set of a film, owning a piece of your favorite horror production is about one of the coolest bragging rights to have.  Premiere Props helps you make that happen by offering up for auction a multitude of screen-used items.  Reproduced collectibles be damned, there’s nothing better than the real thing,” Ryan “Rotten” Turek, Managing Editor of ShockTillYouDrop.com.

Bidding is available live worldwide with live streaming video and audio of the auction on PremiereProps.com.   The live auction catalog is now up and hundreds more lots will be added to this great event! Be sure to   register now online if you will be bidding live for pre-approved status. If you are planning to attend in person please   register now to be our special VIP guest at the show. For phone bidding please call (310) 322-PROP (pre-registration is required). The auction preview period is from 9:00am PST to 11:00am PST and the auction begins at 11:00am PST.

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