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I was surprised to see Wolf Creek 2 on the schedule for the Venice Film Festival last month, and more surprised to see it get pretty enthusiastic reviews at the fest. Probably shouldn’t have been; here writer/director Greg McLean returns to the scenario he crafted for the original film — a cannibalistic psycho menaces wanderers in the Australian outback — but with a slightly tweaked emphasis.

The idea is one introduced in the original, where John Jarratt‘s brutal killer Mick Taylor was on the verge of becoming a larger than life anti-hero for the super-right-wing set. He’s not just chasing down “invaders” of his territory; he’s doing so because they are “foreign vermin.” This time, McLean seems to be pushing that angle even to an even greater degree. (There’s also more of a “road movie” approach to this story, which could be great.)

And, if nothing else, the outback is a hell of a place in which to shoot a horror picture. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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When Paramount picked up Paranormal Activity, which turned out to be a smash hit, the company helped push forward the idea of major studios making films on shoestring budgets. Paramount has been developing a program to make microbudget movies, and now Lionsgate has announced a ‘microbudget’ initiative that will ideally generate up to ten films per year. Lionsgate’s version of ‘microbudget’ is a little different than most — these are budgeted under $2m. That’s a lot less than what most studio films cost, but the term usually conjures up films costing around $100k.

Regardless, info is out on the first three Lionsgate movies. One is Rapturepalooza, starring Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Office) as the Antichrist. More info on that and two others, after the jump. Read More »

Movie Trailer: The Splat Pack

WYRD Studios is releasing a documentary titled The Splat Pack, directed by Mark Henry and Frank H. Woodward. The movie takes “a look back at the first decade of 21st Century horror films and the filmmakers that re-energized the genre.” The documentary features new interviews with Alexandre Aja (High Tension), Darren Lynn Bousman (the Saw series), Adam Green (Hatchet), Alan Jones, Harry Knowles, Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Greg Nicotero, Eli Roth (Hostel), Staci Layne Wilson and more. The doc seems to be mostly a talking head retrospective, mixed with clips from the horror films discussed. WYRD has released the first movie trailer for the upcoming release, which is embedded after the jump.
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The quick-turnaround required to get another Paranormal Activity into cinemas this Halloween, and possibly kill the Saw franchise once and for all, will mean that Paramount will have to get production up and running very soon indeed.

You probably recall that Saw almuni Kevin Greutert was given the helm before a little contractual black magic from Lionsgate saw those plans dashed. Who then, might Paramount have in the frame for this eight-month wonder now?

It’s an astonishing shortlist. As well as Session 9‘s Brad Anderson and Wolf Creek‘s Greg McLean, the studio are reportedly also sizing up none other than Brian De Palma. Blimey.

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The G.I. Joe casting news marches on, blankly. The main villain in the film, the silver-headed Destro, will be played by theater actor David Murray [iesb.net], previously seen in Batman Begins as…”Jumpy Thug.” A face you will recognize, actor Dennis Quaid‘s, is now set for General Hawk, the unkempt elder leader of the Joes. There’s your marquee value. The Cobra-backed villain, Zartan, who is a dead ringer for the old school wrestler the Ultimate Warrior, will be played by South African actor Arnold Vosloo [iesb.net]. How much more of this do we have to take? In what seems like a move directed at all of the Internet moaning, G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama [latinoreview] has signed on as a consultant to the film. Late, much?

Three years have passed since her last forgotten supernatural mystery, The Forgotten, so the lovely and veddy talented Julianne Moore is set to top-line a new $25 million supernatural mystery entitled Shelter. Plot details are under wraps, but Swedish directors Mans Barlind and Bjorn Stein are aboard. Peter and John are not.

The Weinstein Co. liked how Dario Argento‘s latest film and his first in the English language, Giallo, was coming together, so the company is distributing the film theatrically in the United States. Wild-eyed stars Vincent Gallo and Ray Liotta will face off bathed in the director’s stylish color palette. More details on the film here.

Freshly detached in the press from the next Jack Ryan vehicle, director Phillip Noyce (Sliver, Patriot Games), is now officially unattached to helm the untitled Amelia Earhart biopic starring Hilary Swank. Noyce was torn between waiting out delays in filming and directing Mary Queen of Scots with Scarlett Johansson in the titular role. Scarlett > Swank.

AICN apparently has an ear to the howls coming from the set of The Wolf Man, which director Mark Romanek just left. Among the directors now rumored to take over the film, which begins filming in February (rush!), is Brett Ratner [lightning crashes, birds fly backwards]. Earlier we reported that Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves has also been mentioned.

More quiet vacuum cleaning of the past days’ news after the jump…

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