Josh Hamilton

review dark skies

For better or worse the horror genre often seems to move in trends. From the bloodthirsty animal terrors and slasher films of the ’70s and ’80s to the J-horror remakes and (so-called) torture porn of the ’00s, genre filmmakers see a hit and immediately move to duplicate its success. Sometimes it works, but more often than not later films just feel like more of the same done worse. The most recent trend in horror has been haunted house movies thanks to hits like Paranormal Activity and Insidious. Their success ushered in a slew of imitators, but for every PA2 or The Woman in Black there have been a dozen direct to DVD duds. Standing out in a crowded field isn’t easy, but while the surest way to get noticed is by making a quality movie the second surest is to add something new to the mix. Sinister is a good example of a well made film that finds a fresh angle on the genre. By contrast, Dark Skies is simply an example of a film… that finds a singular fresh angle on the genre.

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Dark Skies

If horror films have taught us anything, it’s that flocks of birds are never a good thing – especially when said birds dive-bomb your home for no particular reason. That bad bird omen has been quite present in much of the marketing we’ve seen so far from Scott Stewart‘s Dark Skies, which looks to put a nice horror flick twist on the alien invasion trope. In Stewart’s upcoming film, Daniel and Lacey Barrett (Josh Hamilton and Keri Russell) find themselves targeted by a mysterious force, one that’s apparently watched their fair share of Hitchcock films, as home-targeting birds have already become a recognizable piece of the enticing terror of the film. This brand new UK quad poster for the film effectively telegraphs that fear by way of swarming birds and a house that certainly looks like it’s the only one at risk. Chilling. Dark Skies opens on February 22nd. [Empire]

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Dark Skies Trailer

Over the years we’ve seen so many alien home invasions in movies that we’ve grown to believe that visits from extraterrestrial beings aren’t necessarily a big deal. Maybe the alien who comes for a visit could even be a cute little friend who lives in your closet and develops an addiction to Reese’s Pieces! And heck, worst case scenario you get pulled out of your bed, anally probed up on the mothership, and then they drop you right back off like nothing happened, right? Maybe not. Scott Charles Stewart’s (Priest) new thriller Dark Skies asks what it would be like if the aliens stuck around for a while and tortured your family. If the new trailer for this film is to be believed, an extended occupation of your home by extraterrestrial forces would not just include objects in your kitchen being mysteriously stacked and dazzling lights glimmering off of your ceiling, but it would also bring an unwelcome plague of birds, brandings and blackouts. Oh my. Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton are starring here as a suburban couple who get tormented by the little green menace, and watching them deal with flocks of birds mysteriously slamming into their windows, strange marks being burnt into their kids’ skin, and their minds getting repeatedly taken over by some mysterious force can be some pretty harrowing stuff.

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The Letter Trailer

Ever think that Winona Ryder always looks like she’s creeped out about something? Ever think that James Franco always looks kind of creepy? Then The Letter is the movie for you. Because, from the looks of its new trailer, it seems like that’s pretty much the only thing the movie is about. Sure, there’s some talk about bad dreams, and some talk about poisoning people, but what’s definitely clear is that Ryder spends 90% of the movie either looking creeped out or screaming, and Franco spends 100% of the movie staring at people like a total weirdo (or doing unseen things to their nether regions while staring like a total weirdo). Given the vague nature of the advertising, I guess we need to turn to Lionsgate’s official synopsis  for the film to discern what it’s really about. According to their blurb, “Martine Jamison (Winona Ryder) is a NY theatre director beginning rehearsals for a new play starring her boyfriend Raymond (Josh Hamilton) opposite a young beauty. They are joined by an unknown newcomer, Tyrone (James Franco), who develops a peculiar fascination with Martine and is openly hostile to all others. As rehearsals continue, Martine has periods of disorientation that quickly deteriorate into vivid hallucinations as she becomes convinced someone is trying to poison her. As Martine’s mental state devolves she begins to rewrite her play… and art and life become inseparable.”

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