Horror Movies

When Grindhouse hit theaters back in 2007, its main attractions were Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s feature length segments of the anthology, Planet Terror and Death Proof. But after the release came and went, a lot of the buzz surrounding the project wasn’t about the two films that played back-to-back, but the series of trailers for fake films that got sandwiched in between. Rodriguez has already launched his fake trailer, Machete, into a real-life feature film that was successful enough to spawn a sequel – but what about Eli Roth and his segment, Thanksgiving? After Grindhouse got released, much of the praise for the tribute to B-movies came from how authentic to shoddy old ’70s advertisements Roth’s holiday-themed horror trailer was. The stupid voice narrating, the terrible acting, the bad dialogue, the person roasted like a turkey…it had it all. Roth has intimated in the past that he has plans to turn Thanksgiving into a real-life feature, but that’s been going on for years now, and we’ve still got nada. So what’s the deal? Well, according to a new interview the director did with Behind the Thrills, he’s finally cracked the story, is preparing a screenplay, and presumably will keep things moving from there.

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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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If you’re not familiar with the Silent Hill franchise, whether we’re talking the video games or the 2006 film that was inspired by them, their basic conceit is that the sleepy town of Silent Hill is connected to a hellish and freaky alternate dimension called Otherworld. This isn’t the greatest situation for the town’s inhabitants, because it means that one minute they can be walking down the street minding their own business, and the next hellfire and brimstone could be raining down on them them and they might have to do battle with any number of freaky and dangerous creatures. Six years after the original Silent Hill comes a sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. This time around, Sean Bean is back, and when he mysteriously goes missing it’s up to his now-teenaged daughter (Adelaide Clemens) to navigate the town’s nightmares and release him from the clutches of all the evil whatsits. And if that doesn’t sound horrific enough for you, this poor girl also has to deal with the stresses of trying to acclimate herself to a new high school while everything around her turns to ash and spider monsters are attacking from all angles. New high schools are the worst.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junfood Cinema. We break laws for meat. Column-owner Brian Salisbury is currently further North than the Northest of the Dakotas covering the Fantasia Film Fest in Montreal. If he knew what Canadians really did he might have rethought his trip. The most I know is that he was alive and well two days ago. Or do I? Canadians are weird and they harbor weird things. I know that because I’ve seen today’s movie that’s set in Calgary, directed by a famous author who writes famously weird stories and starring a famous director who directs famously weird movies in Canada and that makes me a certifiable expert on 1990 Canada. Everything else I learned about Canada I got from Dear Zachary and dammit things just got real and now I’m crying. But back to Canada being South of normal and North of Dakota, if today’s film is any indication as to the happenings of what goes on with the dead in that region of the world then, well, free healthcare is making a ton of sense. I know I’m supposed to plug something clever about how we integrate food in with the movie that we write about, but I just finished re-watching this movie and there is a big pile of man-poo-blob-cyst-slobber creature thing that resembles a Pod fusion between the Brundle Fly and a bowl of clam chowder. So, thank you Clive Barker and David Cronenberg, because appetite destructed. Now about this movie Nightbreed…

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Jack and Diane Trailer

At first glance, Jack and Diane looks like a coming-of-age movie about two young girls exploring their sexuality and trying to find their identities – which would have been just fine on its own (there hasn’t been a good movie about a young girl’s erotic journey since Rochelle, Rochelle). But, towards the end of its new trailer, Jack and Diane provides a twist. You see, this isn’t just a story about two blossoming young girls who are experiencing changes in their bodies and minds because of out of whack hormone levels. Oh no. The changes these girls are going through are much too violent for that. After a brief period of new discovery, problems with parents, close calls on skateboards, and threats of moving to new schools (you know, kid stuff), the focus of this ad turns to blood-churning, skin-ripping, and hair-sprouting. Good heavens, this isn’t just a metaphor for becoming an adult, this little indie romance is actually a horror movie! And if that isn’t enough to get you on the hook, the film also promises music by super-mellow and super-great Icelandic music-makers Múm. Young love, body horror, chill tunes…what more could a film fan ask for?

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The 1988 horror film Child’s Play told the story of a psychotic serial killer named Charles Lee Ray getting his soul trapped inside a red-headed Good Guys doll that was known simply as Chucky. Twenty-four years later, Curse of Chucky sees the killer getting banished to somewhere even worse than inside the body of a doll: straight to video. A fifth sequel to Child’s Play has been rumored for a while now, but today Moviehole brings us solid information on when the film will come together, and what it will be about. This latest sequel – which is set to start filming in September – is planned to skip theaters and get released straight to DVD. That has to be seen as sad news for Chucky enthusiasts, but fans of the freckled one shouldn’t fret. Once you get passed the disappointment of hearing that your favorite psychotic in overalls is getting pushed out of the wide release game, there’s plenty of good news here to help that medicine go down smooth.

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Despite the fact that none of these movies that pit two famous movie creatures against each other and none of these B-movie tributes that present material that’s self-aware in its schlockiness have managed to become runaway hits, Hollywood has deemed them to be a trend. And like any other trend, it’s not going to go away until it’s run so far into the ground that it’s almost time to dig it back up for a revival. The next big entry into the purposefully cheesy something vs. something genre is coming from Amazon.com’s Amazon Studios, and it’s going to be called Zombies vs. Gladiators. You see, zombie movies have been a thing for a long time, and gladiator movies have been a thing for a long time…so why not mash them together? It worked so well for Cowboys vs. Aliens after all. All snarkiness and genre exploitation burnout aside, Zombies vs. Aliens does have one thing going for it that none of its predecessors did: pedigree. Amazon Studios may have a set-up where pitches and screenplays are submitted and then voted on, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t hire big Hollywood names to make the projects they decide to green light; and that’s exactly what they’ve decided to do here. Despite the fact that he hasn’t done much writing lately, and he hasn’t directed a film since 1995’s Lord of Illusions, somehow Clive Barker has been convinced to both re-write the Zombies vs. Gladiators script and serve as its director.

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The first trailer for Mark Tonderai’s upcoming horror film House at the End of the Street gave us a glimpse of the haunted house horrors that its star Jennifer Lawrence would be encountering over the course of its runtime, but mostly it just existed to assure us that we would all be getting a nice long look at Lawrence’s boobs if we chose to go to the theater and buy a ticket. As effective as that marketing strategy probably is, going to the cleavage well twice in a row would have looked tacky, so the second trailer for House at the End of the Street jettisons the boobs almost completely and instead gives us a better feel for who these characters are and where the dangers they’re facing come from. It seems that Lawrence is playing the new girl who just moved to town. One of the first people she meets in her new burg is a cute but haunted boy who’s got a lot of murder in his past (Max Thieriot). Townies say that his sister killed his parents died quite viciously and later drowned, but also there’s rumors that she may still be around…doing creepy things…over there in that spooky looking house. This is bad news for Lawrence’s well-being as well as for her budding romance with the boy.

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After the recent announcement that Eli Roth would be making his return to directing horror movies with a project called The Green Inferno, all that we really knew about the new film was its title and the fact that Roth said he was inspired to make it during the time he spent in Chile. For fans of flesh-eating schlock (and due to some deft Googling, me), however, that was clue enough to suggest that Roth’s new movie might be taking some inspiration from the cult classic 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust, which used the term to describe the jungle, and the 1988 film Natura contro, which also went under the name The Green Inferno, and was sometimes marketed as Cannibal Holocaust II. Sure enough, a recent report from Variety confirms that this is indeed the case. The focus of Variety’s reporting is on the fact that Roth’s movie has had its German distribution rights bought by Constantin Films, but the interesting part of the article is the confirmation that this new The Green Inferno is indeed connected to those Italian films of the ’80s. The report says that Roth’s script follows the doomed adventures of an “idealistic student” and a “group of naive do-gooders” as their plane crashes in the Peruvian jungle and they get captured by cannibalistic tribesmen. Sounds kind of like The Grey, only if you trade out liberals for oil workers and cannibals for wolves. 

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At this point we’re already knee-deep in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s promotional campaign. We’ve posted the film’s first trailer, which highlighted Lincoln’s skill with an axe; its red band trailer, which put the spotlight on how crazy its action can get, and now the film’s third trailer is making the rounds; and it’s a promotional piece that finally hammers home the fact that this is a story about Abraham Lincoln. It’s been strange up to this point how little this film’s advertising efforts have stressed the fact that it has a completely ludicrous premise, given that said premise is going to be the main attraction for fans of genre filmmaking. This is a movie about the 16th president of the United States slaughtering blood sucking monsters with kung-fu skills. That’s absurd! Why don’t we focus on that for a minute?

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About a week ago a teaser trailer leaked to the net for Franck Khalfoun’s remake of the William Lustig horror film, Maniac. It gave us a glimpse of a knife-wielding, psychotic Elijah Wood, but wasn’t quite ready for consumption and got pulled down before everyone could see it. Well now the powers that be have deemed it permissible for the public to take a look at the film, and Twitch has gotten their hands on a new cut of the trailer; which is full-length, very red band, and very not safe for work.

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After Eli Roth brought us Cabin Fever in 2002 and then the first Hostel film in 2005, everyone just assumed that he was going to be one of the big horror directors going forward for the next decade. But then he just made a Hostel sequel in 2007 and kind of…stopped. In recent years he’s been spending most of his time producing and taking various acting jobs, with little indication when or if he would ever return to directing. But today that has changed. A press release from Exclusive Media and Worldview Entertainment has announced that the two companies have teamed with Roth to bring us his next foray into the horror genre, The Green Inferno. Little is known about the project at this point, but quotes from both Worldview CEO Christopher Woodrow and Exclusive Media executive Alex Walton specifically tout Roth’s past financial success, so one can assume that the director won’t be straying too far from the slasher film formula that brought him big box office dollars with Cabin Fever and Hostel.

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David Gordon Green has been talking about helming a remake of Dario Argento’s warped ballet-academy-turned-witch-coven horror movie classic Suspiria for so long that it started to sound like a project that was never really going to happen. But then, a little over a month ago, a press release came out officially naming it as the director’s next project. Suddenly the idea that there was actually going to be a new take on Suspiria coming our way looked a lot more likely. And now that the first round of casting on the film has been completed, cold hard reality has set in. Variety reports that the film’s lead role, that of a young student from America who travels to a well-respected, European ballet academy, has gone to Isabelle Fuhrman. At only the age of 15, Fuhrman is an actress still at the very beginning of her career, but many people might already know her as the creepy little girl in Orphan, or for playing the side character of Clove in this year’s smash hit The Hunger Games.

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Back when it was announced that Chloe Moretz would be the new girl getting laughed at it Kimberly Peirce’s upcoming remake of the horror classic Carrie, it was also rumored that the director had a couple of names in mind for Carrie’s overbearing, fundamentalist mother. According to word on the street, either Jodie Foster or Julianne Moore were the top choices. Of course, word on the street isn’t always very reliable, so that was news to be taken with a grain of salt. In this case, however, the gossip-mongers seem to have been spot on. Bloody Disgusting is now reporting that things have progressed with Moore to the point where she’s in serious talks to take the role. If things work out and Moore comes on board, she’s going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. Piper Laurie already portrayed the mother character very memorably in the Brian De Palma-directed Carrie, to the point where she’s fondly thought of as one of the creepiest and most evil villains in horror history. Moore already has one strike against her as far as horror fans are concerned due to her involvement in Gus Van Sant’s absurd Psycho remake, so if this film turns out to be as unnecessary and awful as that one, she could be marked as a pariah for life.

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Kristen Connolly in

What can be said about a movie that you’re not supposed to talk about? A lot, apparently. Recently, Kristen Connolly, star of the new genre-bending horror film Cabin in the Woods sat down with us to talk about her role in the film and the production in general. She also let us in on a few secrets about her earlier career in soap operas and what she wears to cook eggs in the morning. At Kristen’s side was director Drew Goddard to throw in his two cents about how the rumor mill has been treating his movie and why he doesn’t like movie trailers or even posters. And there’s blood. Lots and lots of blood.

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Director David Gordon Green has been trying to get a remake of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento’s horror classic Suspiria off the ground for several years now. But in the last year or so he’s finally seen quite a bit of movement on the project. Back last March he was hopeful that he would be able to make it his next job, and as recently as December he was saying that things were looking good. He had a script turned in, a budget was being calculated, and he just needed to find the funding in order to go ahead with filming. Finally that day has come, because Crime Scene Pictures has sent out a press release announcing that their next project is David Gordon Green’s Suspiria. According to the release, Green adapted Argento’s film into a new screenplay alongside Chris Gebert, casting is currently ongoing, and shooting on the film is scheduled to start in September. Producers Adam Ripp and Rob Paris said of the project, “We love the style and energy of the original film — and David’s script brilliantly updates the world, presenting a rare opportunity to create an elegant, classic horror film.”

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In what’s sure to be polarizing news for people who fondly remember the 1984 Christmas-themed slasher film, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Variety is reporting that Anchor Bay has picked up the North American distribution rights to a remake of the film, which is set to begin shooting next month. If all goes according to plan, that means it should be hitting U.S. theaters this year, just in time for the holiday season. For those who may not remember, Silent Night, Deadly Night told the story of Billy, a young boy who was traumatized by the sight of watching his parents get killed by a guy in a Santa suit, so he grows up to be a murderous, psychopathic mall Santa himself. It’s basically like a reverse Batman, but with a charming Christmas theme and buckets full of gore.

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The upcoming remake of Carrie is a continual tale of good news and bad news. The bad news is that they’re once again remaking a movie that still holds up perfectly well. But the good news is that they’ve hired director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) to take on the project, and if there’s anyone who can do something interesting with the material, it’s probably her. So far, this pattern holds true for the casting as well. The good news is that Megan Fox is not being mentioned as a possibility for taking on the title role. Carrie is supposed to be homely and awkward, and picturing Megan Fox trying to play the weird girl that everyone picks on was enough to make one lose their marbles. The bad news comes from a Vulture report that the casting of the role has come down to one of two names, and, once again, the actresses being looked at seem way too conventionally attractive and charming to be good choices. Their sources have the decision being made between either Let Me In star Chloë Moretz or Marley & Me actress Haley Bennett.

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If you watched the green band trailer for Piranha 3DD, then you’ve already seen most of what the new red band trailer has to offer. You would think that for a property this intent on gaining attention by being shocking and schlocky, there would be some sick, shocking stuff saved for the restricted audience ads…but not really. All of the same high points are here: Christopher Lloyd ranting as a crazy scientist, David Hasselhoff being a cocky dick, Gary Busey getting down and dirty with some fish heads, some fish heads getting down and dirty with Katrina Bowden, and Ving Rhames showing off his gun leg. While not getting much of anything new is kind of a disappointment, those high points are admittedly pretty high. And there is one (two?) big difference between this new trailer and the first one that got released: boobs. Lots of them. Pretty much the first 30 seconds of this ad consists of bare boobs on display while a narrator tries his best to talk in a gravely, Christian Bale voice. So if you’re not at work or anything, and you haven’t seen a trailer for this movie yet, you should probably make it a point to watch this one. Because things are always better with boobs.

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Once you’ve already taken a film franchise both to space and to the hood, there aren’t really any other ways left that you can keep it going other than to bite the bullet and opt for a full reboot. So that’s what Lionsgate is doing with their Leprechaun films. Because heaven forbid we live in a world without more Leprechaun. Lionsgate isn’t just going to be attacking this project alone, however. In order to give us a new take on a little green Irish demon who is murderous in the protection of his gold they’re teaming up with Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Entertainment. WWE Films started out as a division of the pro wrestling company meant to produce wide release features for its wrestling talent, but after the luke warm responses for films like The Marine and See No Evil, they’re regrouping and changing up their game plan a bit.

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published: 04.16.2014
B-
published: 04.14.2014
B
published: 04.14.2014
A-
published: 04.14.2014
C

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