ENJOY THE SHOW
There's an odd correlation between cineplex screens and toy-store shelves these days. The movies-being-turned-into-toys-being-turned-into-movies cycle is hardly a 2014 revelation. But, with Michael Bay's most recent Transformers movie scraping the well in search for content, it finally felt like that synergistic cycle was a foregone conclusion. Entertainment and, God forbid, story were afterthoughts to the dollars and cents the film ultimately pulled in. I use Transformers as the example, because Bay's horror-movie production company, Platinum Dunes, has a product in which they'd like you to invest. It's called Ouija, and it's awful.
The next installment of horror in the Insidious franchise will be upon us next summer with Insidious: Chapter 3. This time, writer Leigh Whannel is stepping behind the camera as director, and it looks like he's captured what James Wan delivered with the first two installments. This time, the story takes us to the past where a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) and her father (Dermot Mulroney) are haunted by dark spirits, all happening before the events in the first two films. There's some truly startling moments here, but also some of the stuff we're sick of in horror movies. Also, doesn't it seem odd that both Insidious and the spin-off Annabelle (both produced by Wan) moved the horror from a house to an apartment complex? Hmm. Watch!
"I think you should keep your visions to yourself." Following Daniel Radcliffe's unfortunate dealings with the haunted Eel Marsh House in The Woman in Black, a new group of victims will feel the terror in the sequel The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. After being evacuated out of London in the midst of the historical blitz, two teachers bring a group of school children to the house for refuge. But instead, they awaken the horrors within, which prompts creepy kids laughing, gross old dolls, rocking chairs moving by themselves, and all sorts of other cliches. There's some scary elements, but this doesn't look all that great.
There was a rumor going around earlier this year that Eli Roth's bloody horror film Cabin Fever, which is only 12 years old, was going to get the remake treatment. Now that's been confirmed by Armory Films, Cassian Elwes and Contend, who have all announced their production of the horror thriller has officially begun principal photography with Gage Golightly ("Teen Wolf"), Dustin Ingram (Paranormal Activity 3), Samuel Davis ("From Dusk Till Dawn"), Matthew Daddario (Delivery Man) and Nadine Crocker (Deadgirl) starring in the film. But who's directing and writing this time around? Find out details below!
"I don't see why there shouldn't be this kind of brain computer interface that may well have the effect of extending ourselves." Ready for more wacky horror as we continue further into October? Today's short won Best Special Effects at the Indie Horror Festival and also played at Fantasia, Sci-Fi London, Dallas and the LA Shorts Fest before premiering online in full. It's called Flesh Computer, from writer/director Ethan Shaftel (@eshaftel), and follows a man with a "cybernetic pet" that causes some problems in the apartment building he lives in. Some of the FX aren't that great (mainly the fly), but other shots look better. While there is certainly a Cronenberg feeling, this short also mixes in sci-fi, tech, gore, social horror and lots more.
"When I first saw you, I could not believe my eyes." It's October which means it's the month of horror, with scary films premiering all over. This short, titled Liebe or Love in German, is a quick watch and a fun way to mix up all those scares with something that will make you laugh. The 3-minute short has played at film festivals all over, including at Fantasia and Toronto After Dark throughout the year, and is now online for viewing. As always, we feature shorts to show people how much great filmmaking there is out there even in short form and made on a shoestring budget. Have fun with this one - the perfect short for October. Enjoy!
Jason Momoa caught a lot of attention for his role in the first season of "Game of Thrones," and soon he'll be even bigger after taking the role of Aquaman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, leading to a likely more pivotal role in Justice League. But before that, you can see him hamming it up as a big hairy villain in the campy horror flick Wolves. This doesn't really look good, but it looks like silly fun. With a tone that seems similar to "True Blood," the story follows a young, troubled kid (Lucas Till) digging into his past who ends up tumbling upon a supernatural secret in the town of Lupine Ridge. Yes, there's werewolves, and this red band trailer shows them chomping and leaping all over. Watch the trailer below!
Right now, audiences can see James Wan's horror spin-off prequel Annabelle, which focuses on the story of the creepy doll glimpsed in The Conjuring. The film offers some decent scares, but it's mostly a formulaic story of demon possession and supernatural events that we've seen before. So MTV decided to freshen things up by taking some footage to Toy Story and mashing it up with the teaser trailer for Annabelle. The result is a very creepy and scary Woody that will never have you look at the cowboy the same way again. It seems like a little more could be done to add to this mash-up, but it's still fun nonetheless. Watch it below!
It's hard to detect a good reason for Annabelle, the horror prequel to last year's terrifying The Conjuring, to exist. It's not as if the makers behind this latest film have anything groundbreaking to say about haunted house movies, creepy doll movies, or even possession movies despite the film dabbling in all three. Annabelle's creativity appears in its scares, something the film does quite well. But no matter how many times it makes you jump, regardless of the menacing tone it accomplishes in droves, Annabelle ends up being yet another standard, generic supernatural thriller that only succeeds in surface-level horror.
No one expected writer/director David Robert Mitchell to follow his beloved, indie hit The Myth of the American Sleepover with a horror film. Even fewer expected it to be one of the most terrifying cautionary tales to come down the horror mountain in a long, long while. Regardless that's what we get with It Follows, because that's precisely what it is, a spine-chilling yet simple story that knows exactly how to get under the viewer's skin. Mitchell knocks the slew of horror tropes he could have easily fed us to the side, and It Follows ends up being a unique film that just may do more for young-adult abstinence than a sex ed class.
"If it's in a word. Or it's in a look. You can't get rid of..." IFC Midnight has debuted one more full trailer for Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, the Australian horror-thriller that is winning over audiences. The film just played at Fantastic Fest earlier this week, after premiering at Sundance in January. One tweet review from the fest called it: "Powerful. Beautiful/horrifying imagery matched [with] a potent human story." It'll finally be hitting theaters and VOD starting this November, and it's one of the best horror films to catch this year. The trailer does show a lot, as expected, but it's a great setup to intrigue those not yet interested. Everyone should be, it's a fine example of how compelling original horror can be. "It's just a book... it can't hurt you."
There aren't a lot of promising opportunities for big screen horror this fall it seems, but Universal Pictures is going to try to rake in the Halloween audiences with Ouija, their supernatural horror adventure inspired by the creepy "board game" of the same name. But as the tagline so obviously points out, this isn't a game. A new theatrical trailer has arrived, and while it's a little better than the first teaser trailer, it still hits every horror cliche you would expect in a film like this from creepy dolls to laughing kids. Though I like the use of the game board eyepiece, Everything else seems so predictable and full of cheap jump scares. Watch below!
We may have a winner for this year's foreign-language, horror film that's allowed to push the envelope in all the right ways. Cub (or Welp in its native country of Belgium) comes to us from first-time feature director Jonas Govaerts, who has crafted a canny yet unsettling slasher film for a whole new wave of horror fans. Disturbing from the outset, Cub delves deep into the human psyche, satisfactorily delivering violent and sexual tropes you might expect. It all gets splashed with a fresh coat of paint courtesy of some extremely atmospheric tone and a no-nonsense attitude in its vividness. Put succinctly, it's not for the casual camper.
There's not a lot more you can do with the Nazi zombie premise, right? Fortunately, that's not a question Tommy Wirkola bothered to ask. The Norwegian writer/director blazed into the genre scene with his 2009 insta-cult hit, Dead Snow, a film whose basis cries out to be loved by horror fans "in the know." Its black-humor attitude and ultra-gore paving the way for it to be crowned the new Evil Dead. If Dead Snow is Wirkola's Evil Dead, Dead Snow 2 is definitely his Army of Darkness. A wild, often hilarious romp that casually tip-toes between genres, it takes its own mythos and expands them into something truly awesome.