Haunter

header discs all is lost

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. All Is Lost Robert Redford stars as a man sailing solo who encounters trouble out at sea. He awakens to the impact of his sailboat colliding with a derelict shipping container and quickly sets about trying to fix the damage before catastrophe occurs. His experience grows increasingly precarious, and soon he’s fighting against nature and circumstance for his very life. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s follow-up to the excellent Wall Street drama Margin Call is even more engaging, but it accomplishes the feat through an opposite degree of dialogue. While that film was filled with fast-talk and lots of it, Redford’s character is the only one onscreen here leaving him no one to talk to but himself. (Sure, that didn’t stop Sandra Bullock from being a lonely chatterbox in Gravity, but this is a smarter movie.) The drama and suspense build naturally here as we work alongside the sailor in his efforts, and the script treats viewers as intelligent enough to follow along without needing every detail spelled out. This is a beautiful film about strength, resiliency, and the will to survive. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurettes]

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Carrie 2013

The characters of this week’s releases are at the end of their ropes. That might even be literal for Robert Redford’s character in All Is Lost unless sailors have a different word for “rope.” And they probably do. Some of the film figures of the week are covered in blood, some have been kidnapped into slavery, some have been falsely imprisoned, some are fighting the system, and some are losing the battle against it. Desperation seems like a common theme. Of course, it’s October, so “ghosts” are another big one. And who’s more desperate than they are? There’s also a lot more going on in a week with a massive amount of movies. Here’s your trailer-ized guide to what’s coming out:

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Haunter

I know what you’re thinking – another haunted house movie? And to that I say “Yes. Hush, there is a reason we’re on to a fifth Paranormal Activity movie.” Now here’s where Haunter is going to be different. Haunter is told from the ghosts’ perspective, and these spirits aren’t so keen on being dead. In fact, teenage Lisa (Abigail Breslin) and her entire family aren’t quite aware that they’re haunting their own house until it occurs to them that they’re reliving the same day over and over again. But once Lisa figures out that she was murdered, she reaches out to the teenage girl currently residing in her old room to stop her from suffering the same fate. Beetlejuice this is not; it doesn’t look like there will be any fun interdimensional bonding or ghost pranks going on between the teenage girls. Expect lots of jumpy shots of ghosts and/or killers appearing over shoulders in mirrors and flashes of shadowy figures in door frames. Those are the rules for haunted house movies, I didn’t makes them. Check out the trailer after the break.

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natali

Genre filmmaker Vincenzo Natali takes a whipping for his taste. Up to now the director of Splice has only made original properties, no adaptations, sequels, or reboots. Natali may be adapting Neuormancer and High Rise at the moment, but even there he isn’t taking the easiest path. Both are niche properties, something Natali is well-aware of when it comes to the two books (and to his own films). At this year’s South by Southwest he premiered what he considers his most accessible movie yet, Haunter. Natali describes the subversive ghost story as a mix of Igmar Bergman and John Hughes, making for an odd but promising sounding combo. We spoke to Natali about the film before the festival, and here’s what he had to say about Haunter, the difficulty of making movies nowadays, and more:

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sxsw anticipated

SXSW 2013 begins in a couple days, and we couldn’t be more excited. By “we,” I mean FSR founder, publisher and beard-model Neil Miller, professional interviewer and lanky ladies man Jack Giroux, and myself. We’ll be descending on Austin this Friday to take in as much festival film-going, socializing and Alamo Drafthouse food as we possibly can. Of course we’re excited to see movies too. A lot of movies. And to give you an idea of what we’re most looking forward to film-wise the three of us have each listed our five most anticipated films of SXSW 2013 below.

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Young Abigail Breslin seems bent on beefing up her acting resume with a plethora of very different roles – often going darker than her Little Miss Sunshine break-out role and signaling her interest in turning into one heck of a serious actress. Next up for Breslin is a role in Ender’s Game, a horrific turn in The Hive, one half of a sex-pact-making set of BFFs in A Virgin Mary, and my personal favorite – as a homicidal teen sister in the fact-based The Class Project. And that’s not all. Variety reports that Breslin will now also star in Vincenzo Natali‘s (Splice) next film, a supernatural horror flick called Haunter. The film is billed as “a reverse ghost story,” with its focus on Breslin’s ghost character, not the probably-terrified humans living in her old house. Like a modern-day Casper, Breslin’s character is friendly and unable to move past her ghostly un-living. But she’s not just hanging around the house she died in for fun – she has to save her “present-day, living counterpart” from the same fate. Sounds…haunting.  

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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