High Rise

High Rise

Imagine the greatest apartment complex anyone could possibly dream up. It’s got its own self-contained schools, grocery stores, and every modern amenity you’d ever need. What if this building was so convenient that you never had any reason to leave? Bottled up in one place forever, would the tenants create a utopia or would they descend into “Lord of the Flies”-esque madness and begin slaughtering, and even eating, their friends and neighbors? That’s the idea at the center of J.G. Ballard‘s 1975 novel, “High Rise.” Folks have been trying and failing to adapt it into a film for the past several decades- Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth) nearly made it in the 1970s, while Vincenzo Natali (of Cube and Splice) was the latest director to fall just short of directing an adaptation. But an adaptation is finally coming together. Screen Daily reports that Ben Wheatley, director of Kill List, will be the one to finally put Ballard’s novel up on the big screen. Wheatley may not be a sci-fi wiz like the last two directors attached to High Rise, but Kill List has enough horror elements to it (and all of them committed by regular old human beings) that it’s safe to say the project is in good hands. Let’s just hope it can weather the storm of The Raid comparisons, which have become commonplace for any movie set in an apartment complex.

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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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