Indie horror director Ti West tends to be divisive. I think that’s in part because he has a flair for self-promotion and also because his most well-known film, The House of the Devil, was a very slow burn of a horror/thriller that featured an ’80s aesthetic, which led to accusations of pretension and a certain preciousness.

But The House of the Devil worked really well for me, so West has become one of the young directors I follow with greater than average interest. His new film The Innkeepers is available via VOD and digital platforms now, and will hit theaters in a limited run on February 3.

Ti West is also planning to make a science fiction film, which he’s said is about “pharmaceutical testing in space and paranoia,” and at one point had the title The Side Effects. That title could change, given that Steven Soderbergh is about to make another film with the same title. But West is moving full-speed ahead with the project, and says that financing and casting are coming together now. Read More »

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There is a definite echo of The Shining in this trailer for The Innkeepers, a film which comes to us from The House of the Devil director Ti West. I was a big House of the Devil fan, though I understand why the movie’s very deliberate pace wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

That deliberate pace seems to be a factor here, too, based on early reviews, but this trailer suggests that there are some good scares in the story of a couple hotel owners who take advantage of the failing status of their business to investigate stories of ghosts haunting the halls. Check the trailer below. Read More »

Cool Stuff: Mondo’s Fantastic Fest 2011 Posters

I type this from the tables right outside the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin Texas as Fantastic Fest 2011 is getting ready to kick off. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true to form Alamo event if Mondo didn’t get involved and in addition to an Olly Moss American Werewolf in London poster that will be revealed on Saturday, Mondo has a bunch of limited edition posters that will be available for the first time at the fest. They’re for Zombie, The Innkeepers and The House by the Cemetery. Plus Mondo is releasing their first record, the score to Maniac by Jay Chattaway. Check out all the images after the jump. Read More »

There’s almost too much that’s good about Fantastic Fest: experiencing the Alamo Drafthouse for a week straight; the small, friendly, film fan atmosphere; the parties. Oh yeah, then there’s the insane films. Every year Fantastic Fest is filled with a ton of wild genre flicks that either you’ve never heard of yet or already have a lot of buzz surrounding them. As the 2011 festival is set to kick off this week, /Film will be on the ground telling you about the sickest, most disturbing and exciting films playing in Austin, Texas. Before that though, since there’s so much that’s good about Fantastic Fest, we’ve got three lists to get you as excited:

  • The Top 15 Films I’m Curious About – The true gems of Fantastic Fest, these are the wild cards we’re excited for from description alone.
  • The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films – These are films with familiar names or built in buzz from previous festivals.
  • The Top 5 Films of Fantastic Fest 2011 Already – This is a list of five films playing at the Festival we already know to be winners.

Read all of this after the jump and keep checking /Film from September 22-29 for all your coverage of Fantastic Fest 2011. Read More »

If you’re a fan of genre film, you’ve had September 22-29 circled on your calendar for months. That’s when one of the most fun, depraved and intimate film festivals in the country once again invades Austin, Texas. It’s called Fantastic Fest and it features a huge blend of action, horror and sci-fi movies that most people haven’t heard of at the time, but we all hear about after. This year is no different. They announced the first wave of films in July and today we’ve got the second wave. Most of them are new to many of us, but then there are a few that we’ve covered in the past: Nacho Vigalondo‘s Extraterrestrial, Ti West‘s The Innkeepers, Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia and Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next just to name a few. After the jump, read the full breakdown of the second wave of films. Read More »

SXSW Film Festival Announces 2011 Features Lineup

The South by Southwest Film Festival has announced their features lineup for the 2011’s Festival, which will take place March 11th to the 19th in Austin Texas. Read the full press release after the jump.

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SXSW announced today that a handful of additional titles were being added to the line-up for the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, including Jodie Foster‘s Mel Gibson dramedy The Beaver, Greg Mottola‘s sci-fi comedy Paul starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen, and Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, a documentary that follows behind-the-scenes of O’Brien’s summer tour, among others. Read the full press release after the jump.

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Next month, one of my favorite independent and more outspoken directors of late, Ti West, will begin shooting a follow-up to last year’s breakout hit about Satanic Panic The House of The Devil. Filming on location in Connecticut (where THotD was also shot) and entitled The Innkeepers, the film is said to follow “the last two staffers at a hotel that’s going out of business”—a hotel that may have ghostly occupants. When I previously emailed West to see if The Shining would be an influence and whether the film addresses “reality” tv shows like Ghost Hunters, he wrote back: “This movie incorporates and comments on the trend of those type shows etc. but is also a very classic ghost story. I’m psyched. I think it blends the classic ghost story style with a solid modern twist.  It will be really fun, fresh and scary.”

In a new chat with FearNet at SXSW, where West was speaking on a horror panel, he dished out more tidbits on the project. The haunted hotel that’s central to the story is actually the same hotel he and his crew stayed at while making THotD, and the plot will be informed by “a lot of [his] experiences there.” Similar to what he shared with /Film, West goes on to say The Innkeepers will be scarier than THotD, will also have a healthy number of jokes, and will “definitely be more commercial than THotD” but with an “indie sensibility that will make it unique.”

More details below. And we’ll go ahead and tack on a NSFW list of the top five things we dig about West’s Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, the super gory straight-to-DVD sequel he has disowned following creative differences with Lionsgate…

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