Sporror

As the success of movies like Jordan Peele’s Get Out proves, the horror genre is still as vital as ever in 2017. The same can’t be said, however, of sports movies these days. While the ’90s was a golden age of relatively small scale movies about the struggles and successes of sports teams, the evolution of Hollywood’s business model (in which big budget movies increasingly rely on international audiences to turn a profit) has made it far more difficult to green light movies with a sports angle.

The clear solution: combine the two types of storytelling into a new genre called “sporror” that consists of scary movies set in the world of sports that star celebrity athletes. Naturally. I can’t believe something so blatantly obvious took this long to put into motion. It’s been right in front of our eyes the whole time!
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Pennywise documentary

I read Stephen King’s iconic 1986 horror novel It for the first time earlier this year in preparation for the upcoming feature film adaptation. The book is phenomenal, but for many, their introduction to the novel’s demonic antagonist – who often takes the form of a murderous clown named Pennywise (aka Robert Gray) – came in the 1990 miniseries, in which Tim Curry played the title role.

With the new movie quickly approaching, a group of filmmakers are taking this opportunity to crowdfund a documentary called Pennywise: The Story of It that reveals behind-the-scenes details about the making of that miniseries and features interviews with the cast. And Curry himself is already on board. Check out the pitch video for the new Pennywise documentary and get more information below.
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the mummy clip

Earlier this week, Universal threw down the gauntlet. Their new classic monsters cinematic universe was rechristened Dark Universe and next month’s The Mummy will officially be followed by Bride of Frankenstein in 2019. They’re going all-in on a new franchise built around iconic characters like Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, and more.

There’s only one hiccup: the first movie in the Dark Universe hasn’t even opened yet and no one has any idea how audiences will react. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see how things work out for everyone, but Universal has officially moved into marketing overdrive with The Mummy, as a new clip, a new featurette, and a new poster have arrived to remind people of this movie’s existence.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes Revisited

(Welcome to Nostalgia Bomb, a series where we take a look back on beloved childhood favorites and discern whether or not they’re actually any good. In this edition: Walt Disney’s live action adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s brilliant novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes.)

“My dad disappeared on a trip to the Thousand Islands when I was thirteen years old. My father and I had to go home without him.”

I wrote those lines over twenty years ago as the opening of a personal essay called “The Island of Loss and Pancakes,” and while I won’t burden you with the specifics of the tale the gist of it was this. My dad was once a man of vitality with a desire for exploration who’d take me boating, fishing, and camping at every opportunity, and when we weren’t off cruising the St. Lawrence River, we’d be exploring altogether different frontiers with our cutting-edge Commodore 64 computer or the building of a slot-car race track hidden in the ceiling and only accessible via an elaborate system of pulleys. There was always something shared between us, something we could do together or talk about, and then one day among the islands bordering New York and Canada… there wasn’t.

The passage of time and of adulthood in general had taken a toll on him, and while I didn’t understand his regrets and stresses then, the effect they had on me was both immediate and long-lasting. It affected the choices I made going forward, the dreams I pursued and the ones I let pass me by, and to the (already overdue) point of this very article it changed the way I respond to certain types of stories onscreen.

Like the 1983 adaptation of Ray Bradbury‘s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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wish upon trailer

If you cross Joey King, get ready to pay the consequences. That’s basically the premise of Wish Upon, in which the The ConjuringWhite House Down, and Wish I Was Here star gets seven wishes to do as she pleases, like making a bully rot. A pretty sweet deal for a teenager quickly goes terribly wrong in director John R. Leonetti‘s (Annabelle) summer horror movie.

Below, watch the new Wish Upon trailer.

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hellboy reboot

It’s been nine years since fans last saw Mike Mignola’s comic book character Hellboy on the big screen, and though there was a metric ton of discussion about another Guillermo del Toro-directed sequel, we know that his version of Hellboy 3 is never going to happen. But all is not lost: we learned earlier this month that Mignola is taking the character in a new direction with an R-rated movie reboot that features Stranger Things actor David Harbour taking over the title role from Ron Perlman. Now Perlman has weighed in on the new casting, given Harbour his blessing, and described the scope and intentions of the abandoned capper of his would-be trilogy.
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Resident Evil Reboot

Update: Deadline reports that Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7, and Aquaman director James Wan is on board to produce the Resident Evil reboot. Considering his history with the horror genre, this choice certainly does suggest that the new films will hew closer to the tone of the original games. Greg Russo will write the script. The original story follows below.

The Resident Evil film franchise that starred Milla Jovovich and was directed entirely by filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson came to an end earlier this year with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The video game movie series finale may have only grossed nearly $27 million at the domestic box office, but it raked in over $285 million internationally on a budget of just $40 million. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a Resident Evil reboot is already being developed overseas.

The German production company Constantin Film is currently developing a Resident Evil reboot, and currently the plan is to have the story span six total movies, just like the film franchise that just concluded. This isn’t just putting the horse before the cart, this is throwing the cart halfway across the world before the horse has even learned to walk. Read More »

black mirror season 4

Black Mirror season 3 was one of my favorite things I watched in 2016 and Netflix is the perfect home for a show so unsettling that you can’t look away (or take breaks between episodes). While the big-hearted and romantic “San Junipero” was the best episode of the entire series so far, it sounds like season 4 will once again deliver the show’s trademark pessimistic outlook on the near future. After all, it was just revealed that one of the episodes is based on a short story written by magician, comedian, and author Penn Jillette that was dark enough to remain unpublished for decades. In other words, it sounds about perfect for Black Mirror.

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dark universe

Universal Studios is going all-in on their new cinematic universe connecting all of their classic monsters. While The Mummy is set to kick things off next month, the studio has revealed that this franchise will be collected under a single banner called Dark Universe, which will have its own logo that will appear before each movie, complete with a musical theme composed by Danny Elfman. As you can see from the image above, the logo is a shadowy version of the traditional Universal logo. You can see the whole thing in action, and hear Elfman’s bombastic fanfare, below.

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Alien Covenant

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.)

In 1979, Ridley Scott unleashed Alien on unsuspecting moviegoers, creating something that would end up becoming iconic in the process. Scott, a filmmaker with a background in graphic design, took what was essentially the type of B-movie that cluttered up drive-in theaters and turned it into something greater – a haunted-house picture set in space, dripping with atmosphere and dread, heightened by grotesque creature designs from nightmare-expert artist H.R. Giger.

Alien would turn into a franchise, although Scott stayed away for most of it. He returned for the sort-of prequel Prometheus, one of the most polarizing films of his career. Fans expecting another Alien were sorely disappointed, as Scott no longer seemed interested in the simple, dread-inducing terror of his 1979 film. Instead, the filmmaker wanted to use the Alien mythology as a framework on which to build a more complex, existential examination of the origins of humanity.

Scott could’ve walked away from the Alien franchise after Prometheus, but instead he seems committed to riding this out to see how far it will go. He has returned with Alien: Covenant, which loaded its trailers and promotional material with the familiar xenomorph alien that fans are familiar with. This film, Scott seemed to be saying, would be the Alien-type film Prometheus was not. It was a trick, though. The filmmaker had more complicated, complex ideas in mind. They don’t always work, but you have to at least appreciate his willingness to experiment with them at this stage in his career.

Spoilers follow.

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