French director Pascal Laugier got an international reputation for his film Martyrs, which was the ne plus ultra of torture porn films, a movie that found a weird salvation in a devastatingly a tormented character. Laugier’s follow-up has been a long time coming, thanks in part to a flirtation with the Hellraiser remake.

After rolling out to some festivals, his new film The Tall Man is ready to hit US shores, and we’ve got an early look at the film thanks to a French trailer. This is a very different film from Martyrs, as it casts Jessica Biel in a much softer thriller that has vague echoes of Silent Hill. There’s a small town, an old evil, and even Jodelle Ferland, who played a key role in the original Silent Hill film. The film has faced middling reviews at festivals, and not just because it isn’t as crazy as Martyrs. But we can hope that it might have been tightened up just a bit before the wide release.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Be it Sundance, Toronto or South by Southwest, some of the most exciting films to play in any film festival these days are part of the midnight line up. That’s where festivals feel comfortable playing the over the top genre stuff and, last year, SXSW’s midnight schedule included films like Attack the Block, Insidious and Kill List. Now the 2012 schedule has been announced.

The main schedule is already cool enough, featuring the world premieres of fantastic films like The Cabin in the Woods and 21 Jump Street, but at midnight, they’re adding to that with the world premieres of [REC] 3: Genesis, Girls Against Boys and The Tall Man with Jessica Biel. They’ll also screen the awesome anthology V/H/S, John Dies at the End and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders with Clive Owen, just to name a few.

Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

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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Briefly: Sadly, The Tall Man is not the name of a sequel to Phantasm being directed by Martyrs director Pascal Laugier. It is the name of Laugier’s next film, which already counted Jessical Biel as the lead. Now the film, a suspense thriller, also boasts Jodelle Ferland (Eclipse, Tideland) and a handful of other actors. Bloody Disgusting reports that in addition to Ferland, the film has added Teach Grant (The Dead Zone), William B. Davis (The X-Files), and Samantha Ferris (Supernatural) to the cast.

We don’t know much about the film, though I expect it won’t be as relentlessly and graphically brutal as Martyrs. B-D calls the film a “long time dream project” of the director’s, and also says that it in the vein of early M. Night Shyamalan films. So: dark, brooding, quiet. Hopefully not so reliant upon a twist. Plotwise, we just have that Jessica Biel plays ” a woman who must grapple with and track the mysterious figure of The Tall Man who has kidnapped her child.”

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