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 »

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SXSW Midnight Features and Short Programs Announced

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 »

James Wan’s ‘Insidious’ To Release on April 1, 2011

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]

SAW V and VI Details Revealed

SAW V LogoLionsgate has revealed new details about the future of the SAW franchise. The fifth installment, follows Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who has been carrying Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) legacy, goes on a man hunt after the secret is threatened.

“People escape one trap, just to get caught in another; it’s closer in feel to the original SAW as thematically it’s about teamwork. I am far and away convinced that these are the best traps we have ever had,” Producer Marc Berg told Bloody-Disgusting. “This film is far less confusing and more linear, and there are TWO great twists. Just when you thought you figured it out, we twist again.”

The film features six different traps and they shot three different endings, which will be included on the eventual DVD release. The full supporting announce was also announced, and includes: Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon and Meagan Good. David Hackl directed the fifth film but will not be returning for the sixth installment after all. I wonder if the studio replaced him or if this was his own choice. SAW series editor Kevin Greutert will be making his feature directorial debut on Saw VI. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are back to pen the screenplay.

Also announced is a SAW video game which was written by franchise creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan, featuring all of the original cast members, and will take place in the timeline of the original film. Saw V is scheduled to hit theaters on October 24th, 2008.

sources: Bloody-disgusting, ComingSoon

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