Horror Ten Spot: My Most Anticipated Fall 2012 Genre Movies
Sad, I know. This last flip of the calendar all but cemented the end of another summer. Beaches cleared, bikinis covered, classrooms filled. Ah, must be fall. Fortunately, one of the cool things about waiting 9 months until next June (aside from football season), is the arrival of prestige pictures starting in September. That is to say, bloated but hollow summer blockbusters are on the way out of multiplexes...smaller, more character driven auteur films will be ushered in their stead. Never a bad thing. Moreover, with October headed down the pike, the unofficial horror appreciation month takes hold. Always the best time of year! Don't front, you know what I'm getting at...here now are 10 Films I'm busting my ass to see between now and December!
I certainly had my reservations when it was announced Pete Travis (VANTAGE POINT) had been tasked with redoing DREDD, in 3D. When the critical casting came in, Karl urban felt inspired, for sure, but tantamount to Sly's onscreen bravado? I found it a tough sell. But once the footage started to hit the deck my thinking pretty much flipped a 180. In pretty much all the clips, trailers and adverts for the hard R-rated sci-fi action/thriller, featuring explosive shootouts and slow-mo set-pieces (Slo-mo is actually a drug in the film), I get the feeling is a much darker version of what Sly was laying down in '95. And the sexy Lena Headey rocking the scope? Forget about it...
Torture epicures Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are back with THE COLLECTION, a sequel to the 2009 film THE COLLECTOR, which, in itself played like a SAW B-side and lost cuts compilation. I remember seeing THE COLLECTOR in the theater by my lonesome, and coming out admiring the sheer nihilism the film was imbued with. I also liked how our sympathies shift from the family being robbed to the looter himself, as he unwittingly fumbles through a booby-trapped house. In THE COLLECTION, Arkin returns, this time blackmailed into going back into the torture chamber and saving an abducted girl. Should be fun!
Not that I need any extra incentive to watch the smoldering Jessica Biel strut around in tight jeans and even tauter distress, and even though flipsides of the critical coin have been called by Eric and The Arrow, when it comes to Pascal Laugier's THE TALL MAN, I must dig in and hold my own stance. Sure the flick hit VOD the last day of August, but I'm going to do my damndest to find this sucker in theaters during its September 25th limited run. I'll be honest, when I first heard of the film, I thought it was some kind of PHANTASM sequel, but when I actually learned the flick is about an urban legend who abducts children, my interest grew twofold.
Russell Crowe starring in a gore-soaked martial arts flick directed by Wu Tang's The Rza? A retard's wet dream couldn't be so fantastic! Oh, and to make sure production values are top-shelf - in a story that sees a blacksmith protect his village from a malefic band of baddies - none other than Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth are producing. What, you're still unsold? Jamie Chung do anything for ya? Lucy Liu? How about Jackie Brown herself, Pam Grier? Seriously, I'm not sure whether to pack a sword or a tube of whack-lube to the premiere. Best do both!
I know director Darren Lynn Bousman swung hard and whiffed with 11-11-11, but will he rectify the mistake with THE BARRENES, a rustic wooded-set tale of psychological unravel? Well, the fact the flick is going straight-to-disc October 9th doesn't fare well, particularly since the film stars the otherwise marketable "True Blood" star Stephen Moyer. Even so, I have a feeling this will be more in line with Bousman's MOTHER'S DAY than 11-11-11, the former film also suffered its share of distribution woes and turned out pretty solid. I guess the real question is in the nature of THE BARRENS, is it a legit creature feature or profound psychological drama? We shall see!
Lofty? Sure. Pretentious? Possibly. But one thing can't be denied, the adaptation of CLOUD ATLAS from filmmakers Lana, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer - in which every actor in the film plays multiple roles throughout different time spans - is too much of an ambitious curio to pass up. Hanks, Berry, Weaving, Sarandon, Broadbent, Keith David...just to name a few...all partake in this epically concocted paean on the human existence. It's sci-fi origins might not be as cool looking or violently threatening as the genre may suggest, but who cares, if it's goal is to make you think, examine and study why we're all here, and where we're going, then the journey must be worth it!
While writer/director Scott Derrickson hasn't exactly lit the world ablaze, for some reason SINISTER looks far and away like his best picture. Perhaps it's Hawke and D'Onofrio onboard that does it! Seriously though, SINISTER looks like it may actually forge new turf with the whole found-footage angle, this time helping our protagonist solve a rash of inexplicable phenomena occurring in his new abode...the same phenomena that left the past residents in a murky pool of deep red. Full disclosure, since it'll release during our 31 days of October marathon we run, I plan on clocking SINISTER and V/H/S as a theatrical double bill!
Who am I to deny an effective horror anthology? Can't do it. OG horror compilations like TALES FROM THE CRYPT, CREEPSHOW, FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM, etc. etc., have been a beloved subgenre of mine for as long as I can recall - and considering how the upcoming V/H/S features a roster of young, hungry talent like Adam Wingard, Ti West and Simon Barrett - I'm all the more stoked to see what the dudes have in their bags. Body bags, that is. Granted, the flick debuted via VOD August 31st, but seriously, I can't think of a better movie to watch in the theater with your homeys when it screens big starting October 5th.
It's a nice day for a red wedding! Mixed reviews aside, I can't resist wanting to drop in on the horde-of-rabid-mouth-foaming-cannibals who storm a wedding in [REC]: GENESIS. I hear it has more of an overt comedic tone this time around, even homage paid to THE EVIL DEAD 2 with the blood sodden bride gripping the chainsaw by film's end. I'm cool with that, that especially given my disdain for weddings. No what I'm saying? In fact, without even seeing the film, I'd like to glean that theme of it has to do with the institution of marriage being violently sick, infected, in decay. Too heavy handed?
Bruce Willis sent back in time to whack his former self...in the form of Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Sounds too f*cked up to miss, especially if you appreciate director Rian Johnson's former films, BRICK and THE BROTHERS BLOOM. I dug the former, saw only bits of the latter, but maintain that JGL, along with maybe Gosling, is the best actor of his generation. You mix in the sick gunplay we've seen in the promo footage, the mind-bending concept, the supporting cast (Jeff Daniels, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, etc.), the familiarity of Johnson with DP Steve Yedlin...we should all be in for hardened sci-fi action treat!