Eighth Grade Trailer - Elsie Fisher

I didn’t discover Bo Burnham when his YouTube videos went viral and he began performing at age 16. I saw him sing “Art is Dead” on The Green Room with Paul Provenza and loved the music and statement so much that I bought his stand-up album, Words Words Words, to hear more. I thought his wordplay was the second coming of George Carlin, so I’ve followed him ever since and went back and caught up his pre-Words releases, too.

So when Bo Burnham became a filmmaker, I couldn’t wait to see what he had to say in this medium. Eighth Grade deals with the same sort of youth issues as Burnham’s early work – Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is graduating eighth grade and trying to get accepted by high school kids.

Burnham spoke with /Film in Los Angeles about his feature film and stand-up work. He’s actually played short sets since directing to begin working new material. Previous stand-up, including his latest full show Make Happy, are streaming on Netflix. Eighth Grade is in theaters Friday, July 13, 2018.

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waves movie

Trey Edward Shults has already made two memorable films with indie powerhouse A24: the family drama Krisha and the apocalyptic horror film It Comes at Night. Now Shults is re-teaming with A24 to tackle a new genre: the musical. Shutls’ Waves will star Lucas Hedges and Sterling K. Brown, and feature a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

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Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far

The nightmare that is 2018 is almost over! Current events may be terrifying, but movies have been pretty damn good this year. Each day this week, a different member of the /Film team will be counting down his or her favorite films of the year so far, and now it’s my turn. My favorite films this year run the gamut from indie curiosities to films of absolute horror. And just to keep things from being a complete dour-fest, there’s a very nice movie about a very nice bear as well. These are the top 10 movies of 2018 so far, according to Chris Evangelista.

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What Defines A24’s Slate of Horror Movies?

a24 horror

(Welcome to The Final Girl, a regular feature from someone who has steered clear of horror and is ready to finally embrace the genre that goes bump in the night. Next on the list: A24’s unique brand of existential horror.)

For years, I was one of the many people who avoided horror. To me, the genre meant grotesque schlock made to play out cheap scares or misogynistic fantasies…plus I’m a grade-A wimp who gets scared of her own shadow.

But on this months-long journey of “becoming a horror fan,” I’ve discovered that’s not the case at all. Horror is an amazingly malleable genre, with the potential to morph into a family drama, a gothic romance, a twisted sexual fantasy, a reflection of social mores, or a manifestation of human suffering. And A24 taught me that it could all happen under one studio.

Because as much as my fall into horror fandom seemed like a long time coming (I was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hannibal fan, for god’s sake), it wasn’t until A24 started to make its mark as the hub for arthouse horror that I began to really pay attention.

Now, I’m not saying that A24 invented arthouse horror or is doing anything especially new. And I won’t even pretend to know the answers to the ongoing “What is horror?” or elevated horror debate. But A24 is tapping into something — and it’s a move away from the cheap thrills and jump scares that we often see at the multiplex.

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Hereditary Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ari Aster’s Hereditary.)

In its opening days, Hereditary has sailed past tracking expectations and earned A24 its biggest weekend release yet. Ari Aster’s indie horror film has been generating conversation since its January Sundance screening, and now that it’s on nearly three thousand screens, that conversation has gotten a lot louder.

And there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to Hereditary: the soul-chilling performances, the elegant and unusual art design, that balls-out (uhm, literally) ending no one saw coming. But under the polished, cinematic horror of Hereditary is a rougher, truer horror, one that will stay with audiences long past that shocking conclusion.

The real horror of Hereditary is in its relentless, unblinking look at family dysfunction.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Hereditary Ending

Ari Aster‘s indie horror film Hereditary is being hailed as one of the scariest movies in recent memory. Aster blends family drama with crushing dread, creating a memorable, horrifying journey. Now that the film is out and most people have had a chance to see it, let’s talk about the terrifying Hereditary ending.

Major spoilers follow.

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Hereditary Review

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Hereditary has people talking about “elevated horror” again and there is no such thing…there are just horror movies.)

There’s an interview going around with Hereditary writer/director Ari Aster that’s sparked another round of hand-wringing regarding whether a new horror feature qualifies as a “horror movie” at all; a discussion so tired we might as well feed it a fistful of Roseanne Barr’s Ambien in hopes of finally putting it out of its misery. In his talk with ScreenCrush’s Britt Hayes, Aster says:

“But even from the beginning, and this is something I’ve said before but I was kind of careful to never really call it a ‘horror film.’ The people that were on the crew, or even the people that I was pitching the film to, I would describe it as a family tragedy that curdles into a nightmare.”

Even though Aster refers to Hereditary several times during that same chat as a “horror movie”, folks have already taken the quote and run with it, questioning whether the unsettling motion picture belongs to this categorization.

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Toni Collette Hereditary interview

Toni Collette was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Sixth Sense, and now she’s back in the horror genre with Hereditary, a film so scary it makes The Sixth Sense feel like an episode of Sesame Street. Hereditary is deeply disturbing, an unnerving, visceral piece of filmmaking that will freak you out and leave you profoundly shaken by the time it ends. Collette delivers an absolutely unreal performance in the film, playing a matriarch whose family becomes haunted when her character’s mother dies. She’s physical and raw and wounded and grieving and furious – it’s arguably the best work of her entire career.

You can read our full review of the film here, but I recently sat down with Collette at the film’s press junket in Beverly Hills to talk about whether this script intimidated her, what it was like working with first-time director Ari Aster, the scariest thing about this film for her, and more. Enjoy our full Toni Collette Hereditary interview below. Read More »

Silver and Black movie

Here’s some bad news for the nascent Sony Marvel Universe: one of its upcoming superhero entries, Silver and Black, no longer has a release date. Meanwhile, A24’s Under the Silver Lake, an indie film starring Andrew Garfield, has been delayed until December. Read more about both below.
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Hereditary Etsy shop

Distribution company A24 is getting especially creative with the marketing campaign for its upcoming horror movie Hereditary. In the film, the central family’s daughter Charlie Graham (Milly Shapiro) makes bizarre and unsettling dolls made out of craft items and reconstituted junk. In advance of the film’s release, A24 has opened a Hereditary Etsy shop that showcases some of “Charlie’s” creepy work, and you can see plenty of examples below. Read More »