Ghost Stories

Guillermo Del Toro has added so many projects to his wish list of cool things that he’d like to make that keeping up with every movie he’s attached to make and what order he’s supposed to make them in could be a full time job. But, despite the fact that this list is ever-expanding and ever-changing, it is sometimes possible to know for sure what movie he’s going to be doing next, and Deadline has a report that seems to solidify the fact that the next project he actually sits down and completes is going to be a ghost story called Crimson Peak. Backed by Legendary Pictures, Crimson Peak comes from a script that Del Toro wrote with his frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins. The current plan is for the director to work through another rewrite alongside Lucinda Coxon, and then start production on the film sometime in early 2014. This gives him plenty of time to wrap up his publicity work for Pacific Rim and also film a pilot for an FX show called The Strain, to which he is already committed. What do we know about Crimson Peak so far? We know that it’s a story Del Toro has described as being very set-oriented, and one that is supposed to work in the conventions of the ghost story genre, but give them a modern twist. The director says that he’s using this project as an opportunity to honor some of his favorite horror movies of the past, including “Robert […]

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hollywood mainstay Philip Seymour Hoffman (My Boyfriend’s Back) is one of the best loved actors working today. Not only has he established himself as a strong character actor over the course of his prolific career, but over the past decade or so he has also proven that he has what it takes to be a leading man. And his latest starring vehicle, The Master, just opened this past weekend and broke some per screen average records at the box office. It’s safe to say that his legacy has been solidified as far as being a thespian goes (barring a De Niro-esque slide into late-career self-parody). As a director though, the man’s career is fledgling. So far he’s stepped behind the camera just once, for 2010’s Jack Goes Boating, a film that didn’t exactly tear it up either critically or commercially. It looks like he’s getting another chance to prove that he’s just as vital a presence behind the scenes as he is at the center of the scenes, however, as Variety is reporting that he’s just signed on to direct a 2011 Black List script called Ezekiel Moss (written by Keith Bunin).

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Today is a great day for fans of lights going on and off and stationary webcam footage, for today is the day that the trailer for the new Paranormal Activity has dropped. If you remember, last year, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman went retro and took the series back to the boxy camcorder days of the ’80s, which was a fun way to add some zest to the experience of thinking that you might have seen something move over there in the background for a minute, but then it was gone. Well, this year they’re back in the saddle, directing Paranormal Activity 4, and it turns out they’ve found yet another way to spice up amateur looking footage that leads up to a figure standing behind the main character and then a fade to black: they’ve added video chat. Yes, Paranormal Activity 4 takes the story of haunted sisters Kristi and Katie and brings it back into today’s world. This time around, the remaining family members seem to have moved next door to a teenage girl or something, and also there’s a kid who has electro powers like Powder…but none of that is really important. The Paranormal Activity movies aren’t so much traditional storytelling as they are the crafting of an experience. It’s all about sitting on the edge of your seat, never knowing when something freaky is going to happen next, and then screaming your lungs out when something suddenly does.

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As an expert on Asylum movies, the bar isn’t exactly high here, but what’s most striking about the trailer for Jose Prendes‘s The Haunting of Whaley House is that it looks like an actual movie – not a CGI-from-1994 slathered abomination cribbing close to the legal limit of blockbuster theft. Granted, it’s a haunted house film, and it looks like it’s maintained the central tropes, but there’s lighting! And decent camera work! And the lines don’t completely read like they came from a a sophomore in high school with a loose understanding of grammar! Could it be? Could The Asylum have produced a good movie? It’s too soon to tell, but we’ve acquired proof that it’s highly possible:

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In 2010, Patrick Wilson got haunted in Insidious. In 1999, Lili Taylor got haunted in The Haunting. Now the two are heading back into the haunted house together with Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston in James Wan’s The Warren Files. Now they’ll have children to look after as ghosts chase them around in New England. According to Variety, Mackenzie Foy (Twilight) and Joey King (who will play young Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises) have both been tapped to play young members of the based-on-real-life Perron family who claimed they were living with spirit from beyond in the 1970s. Taylor and Livingston play the adult members of the family, while Wilson and Farmiga play ghost investigators The Warrens. So, for those keeping track, with Insidious, The Warren Files and Insidious 2, James Wan is going to be telling ghost stories for a long time.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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