Vinessa Shaw

cr come out and play

Horror remakes get a bad rap, often sight unseen, and while the premature concern is usually proved correct it’s not entirely uncommon for a good one to slip on through. Okay fine, it’s pretty damn uncommon, but it does happen once in a while and you need look no further than… the upcoming Evil Dead reboot to see a solid example of a film that takes the (very) basic story from the original and then makes it into something new. But that’s the exception as usually the remakes capture plot details while forgetting to infuse their film with life of its own. Come Out and Play falls into this latter category as it remakes (the far better titled) Who Can Kill a Child? but replaces that film’s grimy charm with somewhat slick and by-the-numbers thrills.

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Makinov

Modern horror movies have made a ton of money working off the assumption that little kids are creepy. What would happen, then, if an entire town’s worth of the little shits suddenly became murderous and started attacking respectable, fully-grown folk in their own homes? This is the question that Come Out and Play, the new horror film from the mysterious and masked director known only as Makinov, asks and explores. The basic story here is that a young married couple played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw travel by boat to a beautiful and secluded island, only to find that something has gone terribly wrong with the small town on said island once they get there. The streets are deserted, other than a creepy little kid or two peeking around a corner every once in a while, and no one seems to be in charge of anything. Answers finally come when they see a pack of unruly adolescents hogtie a person and smash their head with a rock. Yikes.

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Over Under - Large

By the time 1993 rolled around, Tim Burton already had projects like Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands under his belt, and had firmly established himself as an auteur director of quirky, weird films. It was probably that year’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – a movie that Burton produced and didn’t even direct – that firmly established him as being a filmmaker with a cult of personality following, and has become his most enduring work, however. A stop-motion animated feature directed by Henry Selick (with strong creative input from Burton) and produced by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, The Nightmare Before Christmas mixed up Halloween and Christmas imagery in iconic ways (Mickey Mouse has his fingers in all the holiday pies), it captured the imaginations of an entire generation, and it can still be seen advertised all over the backpacks and binders of eyeliner wearing teenagers to this day. That same year another Halloween-themed family film came out of another wing of the Disney conglomerate called Hocus Pocus. But, despite that fact that it starred a trio of actresses who were fairly big names at the time, it hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much attention over the years as Nightmare. And, unless you happen to be a devotee of the movie Newsies (which I know some of you are), chances are you’ve never heard of its director, Kenny Ortega. Sure, Hocus Pocus still gets played on the Disney channel around Halloween every year, as it’s probably cheap programming for the company, but […]

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Everybody loves a nice vacation, but it can be difficult for parents, especially new parents, to make time for a quiet getaway. Understanding this problem, soon-to-be parents Beth and Francis take one last trip together before their baby is born. While traveling abroad, they are made aware of a remote island said to be among the most beautiful in the world. Upon arrival, they note the mysterious absence of any citizenry above the age of twelve. As they search for an adult, any adult, the reason for the island’s occupation by unsupervised children becomes horrifically clear. Then there’s the screaming. And the the running. Let us immediately dispense with the obvious: kids are fucking terrifying; we all know that. There are few subsets of the horror genre as fundamentally unsettling as the killer kid movie. And these are not your average tykes; their inclination toward savagery rivals the very worst of their grownup counterparts. Horror films, for better or worse, and in defiance of detractors who seek to broad-stroke marginalize it, are often the most direct cinematic confrontation of our collective fears. Many titles have artfully and eloquently explored the fear of motherhood/parenthood — Rosemary’s Baby, Aliens (though admittedly more sci-fi), and 1976′s Who Can Kill a Child? Come Out and Play is in fact a remake of Who Can Kill a Child, and the fact that it hasn’t lost a step in this over-35-years-later translation speaks to the universality of that fear.

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Two Lovers

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a strong performance, and the beauty and cold of the Brighton Beach winter comes to life for this stirring romantic drama.

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