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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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Director James Wan has been on a downward slope since Saw. His ultra low-budget horror debut may not have been a huge hit with critics, but as you have surely deduced from the six sequels it’s spawned, the film performed like gangbusters with audiences. His two follow-up efforts, meanwhile, did not. Death Sentence performed miserably at the box office, and Dead Silence didn’t fare much better. Critics hated both.
James Wan has two strikes against him now, and is in desperate need of a hit if he has any intention of reclaiming his past glory.
Good thing Wan has Insidious, a film he’s been quoted as saying he wants to be “the Poltergeist for this generation”. This time around, he’s teamed up with Paranormal Activity creators Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider — a fact the trailer eagerly promotes, though obviously without acknowledging that they’re only serving in a producer capacity — and reunited with Saw screenwriter Leigh Whannell. Its story revolves around a family looking to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star, with Barbara Hershey in a supporting role. The film premiered at TIFF 2010 as one of its Midnight Madness selections, and generated great buzz. Check out the trailer after the break. Read More »
The film program at South By Southwest (SXSW) has really come into its own over the past few years — SXSW is becoming an impressive little film fest in addition to being a massive music party. The lineups for Midnight features and shorts have been announced, and there are some good premieres in there. Attack the Block, from Joe Cornish, will have a world premiere, while Hobo With a Shotgun and James Wan‘s Insidious will show up as well. And the films that most of us haven’t heard of sound pretty great, too. If I was at the fest I’d have my ass planted in a seat for every one of these at midnight. Screw the parties — the crazy genre films are the way to go.
The fill list of features is after the break. The shorts program is massive, and you can find it at the SXSW website. Read More »
Briefly: In the wake of the debut of Saw, creator James Wan has worked on additional films (Dead Silence and Death Sentence) but neither has become anything like the phenomenon that was spawned by Saw. But his new film, Insidious, reunites him with Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell, and did quite well in the Midnight Madness program at TIFF last September. The film was picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (not quite the same thing as being picked up by Sony Pictures) and will now be released on April 1 2011 by the relatively new company FilmDistrict.
April 1 is getting to be a crowded date. Also in that slot are Source Code, Mother’s Day, Super and Hop. But if this film has any of the luck of Saw, it will pull a dedicated horror audience to counter some of the other draws represented by Source Code and the limited release Super. Insidious stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as “a young family which makes the terrifying discovery that the body of their comatose boy has become a magnet for malevolent entities, while his consciousness lies trapped in the dark and insidious realm known as The Further.” [BOM]
Doing poster roundups is always fun, because we end up mashing together films that couldn’t be more different. In this case we’ve got new images for Gore Verbinski‘s quirky animated comedy Rango, the Matthew McConaughey legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, and James Wan and Leigh Whannell‘s horror thriller Insidious. Read More »
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The deals just keep coming out of the Toronto Film Festival. Earlier this week James Gunn’s Super was purchased by IFC, Sarah’s Key starring Kristin Scott Thomas was picked up by The Weinstein Company (who also grabbed Dirty Girl with Milla Jovovich), Kevin Spacey’s Casino Jack was picked up by ATO Pictures and Sony Pictures Classics acquired Barney’s Version starring Paul Giamatti.
Wednesday, news broke that more movies were flying off the shelves. The Weinstein Company picked up the highly buzzed about Submarine (which Peter loved, read his review here), Anchor Bay grabbed the school shooting drama Beautiful Boy starring Maria Bello, Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate teamed up to grab Robert Redford’s The Conspirator and Sony Pictures Worldwide bought the rights to Insidious, the James Wan thriller. Hit the jump to read more about these films. Read More »
Last night we got a brief preview of some of the films that will appear in the always-entertaining Midnight Madness lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Now we’ve got the full nine, which in addition to the three announced last night (Super, Bunraku and The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman) include John Carpenter‘s The Ward, Brad Anderson‘s Vanishing on 7th Street and Insidious, by James Wan.
But TIFF isn’t stopping there: a whole host of other high-profile films were announced for the fest today. They include Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, Casey Affleck‘s I’m Still Here, Matt Reeves‘ Let Me In, Dustin Lance Black‘s directorial debut What’s Wrong With Virginia? and the Will Ferrell dramedy Everything Must Go, along with confirmation of Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours, for which there’s a new photo. (Above.) This year’s TIFF looks like a good one: check info about all the films after the break. Read More »
Original Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell are going to film a new low-budget horror picture this summer called Insidious, with Wan directing from a script by Whannell. Making the project a bit more interesting, Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider, the guys behind Paranormal Activity, are producing. Read More »