Don’t Breathe revives one of the horror genre’s most convenient tropes: what happens when a group of genuinely rotten characters find themselves up against someone so much worse? It’s like a get-out-jail-free card for any filmmaker with a nasty streak, as they can proceed to punish the lead characters in unfathomable ways without asking the audience to feel too guilty for relishing in their suffering.
And director Fede Alvarez lays that suffering on with a heavy brush. Once Don’t Breathe finds its rhythm, it becomes one of the most relentless horror movies in recent memory, a non-stop assault that finds that fine line between crowd-pleasing and shit-your-pants terrifying. Alvarez already showed horror fans that he wasn’t kidding around with his vicious 2013 Evil Dead remake, but Don’t Breathe is his and his alone, proof that his brand of intensity can operate when removed from a beloved franchise.
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Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Angie Han
In this edition of Sequel Bits, people talk about movies they’re doing, movies they wish they were doing, and movies they’re probably never doing. After the jump:
- Helen Mirren would “love” to do Fast and the Furious
- Daniel Radcliffe wants a cameo in Sharknado 3
- Evil Dead 2 is dead, according to star Jane Levy
- Justin Theroux thinks Ben Stiller may helm Zoolander 2
- Simon Pegg talks up Star Trek 3 director Roberto Orci
- Rumor has it Lea Seydoux could be the next Bond girl
- … and Sam Smith may be the next Bond theme singer
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Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Angie Han
Jesse Zwick‘s About Alex isn’t technically a remake of The Big Chill, but it might as well be. Both films center on groups of college friends who reunite when one of their own, named Alex, tries to kill himself. The difference is that in About Alex, he’s not successful.
Concerned, Alex’s friends plan a getaway weekend so that they can keep an eye on him. Drama predictably ensues as old attractions and new tensions bubble to the surface. Jason Ritter plays the title character, and Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Maggie Grace, Jane Levy, Max Minghella, and Nate Parker round out his clique. Watch the About Alex trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Angie Han
For a while there, it looked like Hollywood might be learning a lesson about toy-based films. Yes, the Transformers franchise continues to rake in the dough, but Battleship was one of the floppiest flops of the year, and Universal scrapped their plans to make movies based on other Hasbro board games.
Then The Lego Movie hit theaters, dominating the box office and earning stellar reviews besides. Suddenly, a Monster Trucks movie looks like a good idea. Such a good idea, in fact, that it’s begun casting, with Suburgatory‘s Jane Levy and X-Men: First Class‘s Lucas Till eyed for the leads.
After the jump, find out more about that, as well as why Warner Bros. is considering making Ninjago before it gets around to The Lego Movie 2. Read More »
The remake of Sam Raimi‘s first signature film is now open. After a long period of speculation about the possibility of a fourth Raimi Evil Dead film, or a remake by some other filmmaker, audiences have a chance to see what Fede Alvarez has done with Evil Dead. This remake has some ideas of its own, as it follows a group of young friends to a remote cabin where one plans to detox. But it also has a heavy reliance on Raimi’s set pieces, many of which are firmly entrenched as calling cards for his career.
Beginning with its premiere at SXSW there has been mixed reception to the remake — some love it for the over the top violence, while others (myself included) think that, yeah, the gore is good, but there’s not enough of a movie there. So weigh in on the conversation — let us know what you thought of Alvarez’s Evil Dead, and keep in mind that spoilers are fully encouraged in the comment thread below. Read More »
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In my review of Evil Dead, this year’s remake of Sam Raimi‘s career-making 1981 film, I mentioned that this movie might actually exist in the same timeline as Raimi’s movies. It isn’t locked down in the film that such a thing is the case, but it is suggested.
Recently, original Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell went a lot farther, saying at a post-screening Q&A that plans for sequels to both this new Evil Dead series and Raimi’s own movies might eventually merge the two storylines. We couldn’t confirm his quote at the time. At today’s WonderCon panel for the remake, director Fede Alvarez confirmed the ambition to top off his own Evil Dead 2 and Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness 2 with a film that brings the storylines together. Read More »
When you watched Evil Dead II, did you feel pain when Bruce Campbell cut off his own hand, not because of any empathy for the horror, but because Sam Raimi didn’t show the chainsaw actually hitting flesh? If so, then stop reading and order a ticket to Evil Dead, because Fede Alvarez‘s remake is the movie for you. Drenched in gore, the movie doesn’t ever flinch away from violence.
Raimi’s original The Evil Dead was calculated to appeal to drive-in audiences, but his irrepressible personality shone through the exploitation effort. With star Bruce Campbell and producer Robert Tapert, he produced a blend of horror and physical comedy — splatstick, working from an underlying principle that proclaimed “the gore, the merrier!” — that had obvious roots in Three Stooges and Buster Keaton comedies. Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert set out to make the screen run red with blood, but ended up creating something more unique than another horror quickie.
All of which is preamble to set up the fact that Fede Alvarez’s skill with effects shines in his own Evil Dead. But look away from the gore and you’ll see a confused movie that lurches in different directions from one step to the next. It barely establishes a personality of its own beyond the brutal gore. Appropriately for a film that traffics in bodily dismemberment, Evil Dead ’13 is less than the sum of its parts. Read More »
Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
In purely practical terms, it’s unlikely that Fede Alvarez‘s Evil Dead remake will live up to the marketing promise that it’s “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.” But even if it fails to meet that high bar, it’s clearly trying its hardest to push that envelope.
The first red-band trailer was packed end to end with disturbing, blood-drenched images, to the point that it made Sam Raimi‘s 1981 original look mild and mellow in comparison. The green-band trailer, for obvious reasons, is far tamer, but it’s still pretty spooky. And because it can’t show off the really shocking moments, it gives away much less about the film. Check it out after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
In the decade or so since he hit Hollywood, Josh Schwartz has become a high-profile name in television. He first gained attention for creating the smash hit The O.C., and followed up that success by co-creating Chuck and Gossip Girl. And now that he’s conquered the small screen, he’s got his sights set on taking over the big one.
Schwartz is making his feature directorial debut with the holiday teen comedy Fun Size, a sort of Adventures in Babysitting with Halloween costumes. Nickelodeon breakout Victoria Justice plays Wren, whose plans to attend a Halloween party are scuttled when her mother (Chelsea Handler) forces her to take her weird little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) trick-or-treating.
Her night takes yet another turn for the worse when she loses her little brother, sending her on a frantic search to recover him with the help of her best friend April (Suburgatory‘s Jane Levy). Meanwhile, Albert’s up to his own insane adventures, involving a brokenhearted man and some criminal activity. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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