The Saw franchise is back, with the marquee names of Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson injecting some new life into it. After a one-year coronavirus delay, Spiral: From the Book of Saw is finally bound for theaters this Friday. There was a time in the 2000s when every October brought another bloody Saw flick; Spiral is the first film to break the series tradition of releasing right before Halloween. The Jigsaw Killer has never been a critical darling and casual viewers may not have kept up with his last eight appearances. However, the original 2004 Saw stands on its own and it remains an interesting cultural artifact—with more to say about the state of the world post-9/11 than it perhaps intended.
The term “torture porn” solidified around Saw retroactively, around the time that Hostel was revving up the drills and chainsaws to maim tourists on the big screen. That was in January 2006, when New York Magazine ran the headline, “Now Playing at Your Local Multiplex: Torture Porn.” Since then, we’ve often heard labels like “misery porn” and “disaster porn” applied to entertainment (there’s also “food porn,” which predates torture porn and is generally much more appetizing to watch). Yet Saw played into an older heritage of splatter horror and extreme cinema. It also gave several notable filmmakers their first big break, so that it’s now only one degree removed from Kevin Bacon…and Aquaman.
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Having already proven he has the goods to bring a new twist to classic Universal Monsters with The Invisible Man, Leigh Whannell is now in negotiations to helm The Wolfman. Ryan Gosling is set to star in the horror pic, which was previously reported as being partially inspired by Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. That might be changing, though, as Whannell is also going to be writing a treatment for the film based on his own idea. Joining Whannell on the project is Blumhouse, with whom Whannell has a first-look deal.
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Leigh Whannell‘s fantastic sci-fi-action-horror pic Upgrade is headed to the small screen. The Upgrade TV series won’t be a remake of the movie but will instead be set a few years after the events of Whannell’s 2018 flick that saw Logan Marshall-Green play a paraplegic who is given the ability to walk again – and seek revenge against the people who murdered his wife – with the help of an A.I. implant. Read More »
We, as a culture, are trained to poke holes in a woman’s story, to sympathize with the monster in the scenario, rather than the victim. Knowing this, director Leigh Whannell uses the vehicle of horror cinema to Trojan horse a moral lesson into a fun Blumhouse thriller. His latest film, The Invisible Man, an Elisabeth Moss-led Universal Monster reboot in which an ex-lover stalks his old beau by hiding in plain sight, is another way of relaying the fear traumatized women feel when formerly safe spaces become violated. It is somehow both edge-of-your-seat excitement and razor sharp metaphorical commentary – a brilliant new take on an old classic.
The director sat down with us to talk about gaslighting, politics, exes, building a beautiful prison, The Munsters, paranoid thrillers, abusive relationships, and the way in which Whannell weaponizes empty spaces to keep the audience off-kilter.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch a 16-bit video game style recreation of the final showdown in between the Final Order and the Resistance, as well as Rey and Emperor Palpatine, in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Plus, listen as director Leigh Whannell breaks down an intense scene from the remake of The Invisible Man, and watch a sketch cut from last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live with John Mulaney starring in a parody of the new Netflix dating series Love Is Blind. Read More »
Director Leigh Whannell is having an outstanding weekend. Not only is the filmmaker’s remake of the classic Universal monster movie The Invisible Man at the top of the box office with a $29 million debut on a budget of just $7 million, but now he’s striking a two-year first look deal with the film’s producer Jason Blum and his horror movie factory Blumhouse. Could this possibly pave the way for Whannell overseeing a proper reboot of Universal’s movie monster universe? Read More »
Is this the first real horror movie of the #MeToo era? Leigh Whannell‘s nerve-jangling The Invisible Man bears almost no resemblance to the 1933 Universal pic starring Claude Rains, nor does it take much from the original H. G. Wells novel of the same name. About the only thing Whannell’s modern-day update has in common with those titles is that it involves a dangerous, and invisible, man. But with that basic set-up, Whannell has crafted a surprisingly timely tale of an abused, terrified woman fighting like hell to convince everyone around her she’s telling the truth.
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Leigh Whannell is about to unleash The Invisible Man on audiences, but that’s not the only big genre title he has up his sleeve. Whannell is also attached to write (and possibly direct) an Escape From New York remake, based on John Carpenter’s 1981 classic starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. The original Escape is one of Carpenter’s best-loved films, which means any remake is going to immediately inspire some suspicion from fans. In a new interview, Whannell talked a bit about the Escape remake, and also offered up a great casting suggestion for the new Snake Plissken.
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Elisabeth Moss is in serious trouble in The Invisible Man, a new take on the classic Universal horror movie. Far removed from the original H.G. Wells story that inspired it as well as the original 1933 movie directed by James Whale, this new The Invisible Man comes from Leigh Whannell, writer of Insidious and director of Upgrade. Elisabeth Moss plays a woman who escapes an abusive relationship only to find herself tormented by an invisible force. Watch The Invisible Man trailer below.
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The trailer for The Invisible Man is appearing tomorrow, but for now, how about a first look? Official images for Leigh Whannell‘s new take on the classic Universal horror movie are here, and they promise bad things are in store for Elisabeth Moss. Also: Whannell talks about how he tried to make the most grounded version of this story possible while also going for something very tense and scary. See The Invisible Man first look, and learn more about the movie, below.
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