‘Nerve’ Returns to Theaters for $5 a Ticket

Nerve re-release

In terms of new releases, it’s slim pickings out there this weekend. Oh sure, there are a couple of bigger films (Light Between Oceans and Morgan) and a handful of indies, plus some high-profile holdovers from earlier in the summer. But if none of those quite suit your fancy, how about revisiting a film you may have missed the first time around?

Lionsgate is putting its young adult thriller Nerve back into theaters across the country this weekend. You may remember it from its original July 27 release — it’s the one starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco as participants in an online game that’s “like Truth or Dare, minus the Truth.” But the really good news is that if you skipped it then and want to see it now, you’ll be able to do so for just $5.  Read More »

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get real with one of the youths from The Sitter who’s all growns up, we remember fondly a music magazine that might have been better than Rolling Stone, our dad tracks down drug dealers, we get a season of Friday night lights, and sit through a miserable byproduct of social media being filtered through the cinematic liver of Hollywood.  Read More »

Viral trailer

So, what’ve you got planned for the three-day weekend? Summer Friday happy hour, maybe? A Fourth of July cookout? Maybe a Sunday night out hitting the clubs, since you can sleep in Monday? Well, you might want to reorganize your calendar after seeing the first Viral trailer. Because as it turns out, socializing is a really great way to catch horrifying infectious diseases.

Viral comes from Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost — the directors behind CatfishParanormal Activity 3 and 4, and the upcoming Nerve — and powerhouse producer Jason Blum. A strange parasitic virus begins to infect a small suburban town, but two teenage sisters (played by Sofia Black-D’Elia and Analeigh Tipton) decide to ignore the warnings and party with their friends anyway, with predictably awful results. Watch the Viral trailer below.
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nerve trailer

The movies have always had a fraught relationship with the internet, depicting the online world as a vile hellscape where there is no hope, only agony and humiliation and maybe even the end of the world. And that’s not an entirely inaccurate description. The whole “the internet is pure evil” thing has been the subject of more than a few science fiction and horror films, with most of them building grand online conspiracies or using technology as the host for some king of supernatural evil. The arrival of a movie like Nerve proves that we’re ready to start talking about really makes the internet such a wretched hive of scum and villainy: other people.

The Nerve trailer is all about Emma Roberts and Dave Franco versus The Internet and c’mon, we all know who’s going to win that particular showdown. The internet devours all.

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All of the disappointments of Paranormal Activity 4 boil down to one thing: This is a franchise that’s forgotten what made it so special in the first place. The original Paranormal Activity was terrifying not because it had expensive special effects or excessive amounts of gore, but because director Oren Peli expertly stretched the tension to the point where the softest creak of a door hinge could make us jump. 2 and 3 dialed the scares up a notch and expanded on the mythology, but that delicious suspense at the core remained the same.

In contrast, I don’t think I’ve ever been as relaxed during a horror movie as I was during Paranormal Activity 4. The scares are theoretically bigger and badder this time around, but sloppy storytelling from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman undermines any impact they might’ve had. After three great installments, the little low-budget horror series that could has finally lost its way.

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There are several major take aways from the latest trailer for Paranormal Activity 4. One is that Katie and the boy she kidnapped, Hunter, are definitely back. Another is that the evil spirits from the first three films still really, really love to drag people down hallways. A third is that your XBox Kinect is the devil. It all adds up to a very intriguing bit of marketing.

Paranormal Activity 4 opens October 19 from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who did Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3. This time around, the story is back in the present, following the neighbors of a mysterious new family whose son may, or may not, be the aforementioned Hunter.

After the jump, you can not only check out the revealing new trailer, but read a bunch of early buzz from a work print screening at Fantastic Fest 2012. Either way, you’ll never look at XBox Kinect the same way again. Read More »

‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Trailer: Katie’s Back!

If Monday’s 13-second teaser for the Paranormal Activity 4 trailer whetted your appetite for more found-footage scares, you’ll be happy to see that the first full-length trailer has now hit the web. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who directed Paranormal Activity 3, are once again at the helm. Watch the video after the jump.

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My favorite thing this week, without question,  is this short documentary about the artist John Baldessari, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the guys who made Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3.

A Brief History of John Baldessari is a wonderfully lively little doc that successfully straddles the line between providing info on the subject and establishing itself as a distinct work. The choice of music doesn’t hurt, but really it is the narration from Tom Waits — his presence demanded by Baldessari, says the film —  that gives life to this short. Waits pronounces words in the same way that small animals burrow into the earth, and listening to him read this script is just a joy. Read More »

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who made the Sundance 2010 hit/talking point Catfish, and went on to direct Paranormal Activity 3, are now set to write and direct The Monkey Wrench Gang. The film is an adaptation of a 1975 novel by Edward Abbey that has been in development for over a decade. It’s a weird book, following a quartet of misfits who attempt to stymie industrial development in the southwest US by employing some unusual sabotage. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Once Paranormal Activity 3 had a gangbuster opening this past October, a fourth film was inevitable. Soon after the release, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman reportedly agreed to make Paranormal Activity 4 and an October 19, 2012 release date was set. That’s almost exactly seven months to the day from right now.

Which means the film is going to be plenty rushed as Paramount has just signed up Zack Estrin to write the script. Estrin is a producer on the current ABC show The River, which is produced by Paranormal Activity creator and current executive producer Oren Peli. He’s also written on Prison Break, No Ordinary Family but Paranormal Activity 4 marks his feature film debut. Read More »