Lou Taylor Pucci

evildead02

Editor’s note: Rob’s review originally ran during SXSW last month, but we’re re-running it as Evil Dead officially hits theaters starting tonight. When a remake of Sam Raimi‘s seminal horror film was first announced it was met with a fair share of understandable skepticism. The hostility was tempered somewhat by the inclusion of Raimi, Robert Tapert and original star Bruce Campbell in the producers’ chairs, but still people wondered if that bloody magic could be recaptured. The answer is a tentative and extremely gory “yes.” Kind of. Somewhat. Unless you’re someone who prefers their horror films to be smart and scary in addition to being creatively bloody. Five friends head to a cabin in the woods (surprise!) looking for both a fun vacation and a place to help one of their own kick a bad drug habit. But withdrawal is the least of their problems when a bloody basement and a skin-bound book are discovered beneath their feet. Soon an evil entity is causing violent and messy mayhem in the form of extreme acts of self-mutilation and murder. And tree rape. Can’t forget the tree rape.

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Evil Dead Poster

Most terrifying film ever? That’s a pretty bold claim to make, and it also signals (like the recent trailer did) that this is not your daddy’s Evil Dead. The film looks to be almost old school in its lack of humor and dedication to pure terror and practical effects. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are on as producers, and they’ve given their blessing to director Fede Alvarez to craft something as terrifying as possible. But most terrifying ever? We’ll find out when it opens on April 12, 2013. [Yahoo! Movies]

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Evil Dead Trailer

It feels like just yesterday we we wondering why we were supporting the latest idiotic trend in movie marketing by watching a teaser for a trailer of the new Evil Dead. It was a move that makes even less sense now that, barely twenty four hours later, the actual trailer has been released. And it looks like a gloriously violent and gory return to real horror without any post-modern, meta or comedic trappings. The lovely Jane Levy and the always wonderful (and equally lovely) Lou Taylor Pucci co-star among a group of friends who head to a cabin in the woods for some dispensable reason only to find a nightmare involving murder, possession, mutilation and tree branch splinters in their bajangos. Director/co-writer Fede Alvarez has remade Sam Raimi‘s classic with Raimi’s blessing and hands-on involvement, and the result looks to be a hardcore horror film that immediately impresses with its tone and dedication to practical effects. Check out the gleefully nasty redband trailer for the new Evil Dead below.

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J.K. Simmons is a worker, or as he calls it, a “journeyman actor.” The J.K. Simmonses of the world feature epic sized filmographies, even for an individual year. In 2009 alone, the actor appeared in 10 movies. Most were small parts, but 10 movies? He’s a busy man. One would think with that type of work ethic, Simmons would be an actor that cared more about the checks than the quality of the work. From speaking with the character actor, that didn’t seem to be the case. Simmons has, finally, got a starring role film under his belt — recently, anyway — that we can see. The Music Never Stopped (out now on DVD) is one of those small, non-cynical, heart-string yanking dramas. It’s a father/son story, so if you’re sucker for daddy issue movies, this one’s for you, kid. Here’s what actor J.K. Simmons had to say about appearing in nearly everything, being Jason Reitman‘s good luck charm, and naturally working off of Diablo Cody-isms:

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A van rolls through the night with fraternity members at the wheel and hopeful pledges packed in back. The initiation rite is simple and suitably stupid… they pull up to a random gas station, the pledge runs in with a ski mask on his head and a gun in his hand and demands the cash from the register. What could possibly go wrong? Especially since the pledges are stopped by another member before entering and handed a small bag of cash to bring back to the van. They never see the inside of the store as the test is simply to see if they have the balls to do it. Kevin (Lou Taylor Pucci) is understandably nervous, but heads in anyway when it comes to his turn. Only they’re at the wrong station, there’s no one there to stop him, and he’s about to be shot in the chest by an equally nervous store clerk. Movies featuring college fraternities usually fall into one of two categories. There are the comedies that focus on panty raids, frat house competitions, and the protein value of fried semen. And there are the dramatic thrillers about conspiracies, date rape, and hazing. Brotherhood falls squarely on the thriller side, but it does so with a breathless pace, a smart script, and far stronger acting than these types of films usually deserve. It’s quite possibly the best of the genre… and yes, I have seen The Skulls.

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arlenfaber-1

A straightforward romantic comedy about bringing a know-it-all author to his knee’s, director John Hindman’s first film is surprisingly charming and incredibly well-written. As if we should have expected any less…

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theinformers-1

Every year the Sundance film festival delivers at least one film that I absolutely loathe. Last year it was Downloading Nancy. This year it is The Informers, a self-indulgent, lifeless glamrock drugfest from the mind of Bret Easton Ellis.

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