Drew Dowdle

Universal Pictures

So rarely does found footage go the “movie for smart people” route. And yet here we have As Above, So Below, a found footage film that shows all the hallmarks of complex thought. It’s set in a real-life spookfest; somewhere a little more niche than Area 51 or “generic European city full of exorcists”- the Catacombs of Paris. Which, if you’re not familiar with them, are mass graves hidden under the City of Love, said to contain nearly six million sets of human remains. Then, you’ve got the title, As Above, So Below, a phrase tossed around in the occult world on a regular basis, and also a phrase that comes from the ancient, Christian-ish religion of Hermeticism. On top of that, As Above, So Below eschews the Big Two of found footage nemeses- your choice of mutants or demonic possession- for something new and, dare I say it, interesting: the actual Gates of Hell. So we know that the pair of John Erick Dowdle (co-writer/director) and Drew Dowdle (co-writer) have done their scary movie research. But does the trailer do justice to all the smartness I assume will be in this extremely smart-sounding movie?

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Taking a decidedly dark turn in project choices after the success of the uber-charming Midnight in Paris and his recently-signed deals for comedies like Freezing People Is Easy and You Are Here, actor Owen Wilson will soon star in the Dowdle Brothers’ The Coup. A dark thriller from the team at Crime Scene Pictures, The Coup appears to be Wilson’s most emotionally demanding role in years, since something like 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines. The press release announcing the project describes the film as “an intense thriller centered on an American family that moves to Southeast Asia and finds themselves embroiled in a violent coup where rebels mercilessly attack the city.” Wilson will play the family’s patriarch. John Erick Dowdle will direct the film from a script he co-wrote with his brother, Drew Dowdle. John Erick previously directed Devil, and the brothers wrote The Poughkeepsie Tapes and Quarantine together, with John Erick also directing those features.

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The name of M. Night Shyamalan may have been greatly tarnished by M. Night Shyamalan, but there’s no denying that this trailer for Devil makes the film that he produced (but didn’t direct, if that helps) look engaging and deadly. It begs the classic question of what you’d do if you were trapped inside an elevator and, instead of a porn star played by Carla Gugino, it’s the great Satan himself hiding amongst your crew. Answer the question yourself, and take a look at the trailer after the jump.

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shyamalan-header

M. Night Shyamalan is going back to the horror genre. Only this time, he’s just coming up with the idea and letting others run with it…

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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