the night house trailer

The haunted house movie has been done, again and again. Something goes bump in the night, our frightened protagonist sees something in the corner of their eye, and suddenly they’re dragged violently out of frame. And yet there’s always a movie that can inject some new energy into the haunted house genre, whether it gives it a refugee context, like His House, or whether it stars Rebecca Hall, like The Night House. And who are we kidding, we’ll watch a haunted house horror movie just for Rebecca Hall.

Hall stars in the latest film from director David Bruckner as a widow left alone in the empty lake house built by her late husband. And well, you know what happens. Watch The Night House trailer below.

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godzilla vs kong review

What do we want from the MonsterVerse, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s attempt to Marvel-ize the world of Godzilla, King Kong, and several other big beasties? The answer seems to be: big, loud, entertaining mayhem, and here comes Godzilla vs. Kong to hopefully deliver on that. Time and time again, when one of these movies comes out, they’re pilloried for their lackluster human characters. These criticisms are inevitably met with a defensive “Who cares?! I watch these movies for the monsters, not the people!”

This is a weak defense because ultimately, these movies are more about humans than they are monsters. It’s clear that the folks making these movies want the audience to care about the human characters. When 2014’s Godzilla arrived, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was cited as an inspiration by several people close to the production. But no one ever says, “I only watch Jaws for the shark!” It’s the human moments – Brody, Hooper, and Quint sharing drunken scar stories; etc. – that makes Jaws so special. If your monster movie is going to be primarily focused on humans with occasional bursts of monster action, you better make sure those humans are at least slightly interesting and relatable.

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passing netflix

Netflix has purchased Passing, the Sundance movie from director Rebecca Hall that stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, the film follows two Black women living in 1920s New York. One of the women, played by Negga, passes for white and even has a white husband who doesn’t know she’s Black – a decision that her friend, played by Thompson, grapples with. It’s a film that deals with race, gender, identity, and sexuality, and it’s received positive reviews following its recent Sundance premiere.

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passing review

Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga) meet in the restaurant of a posh New York hotel, spotting each other from across the room. Irene mistakes Clare for a stranger at first, but as it turns out, the women grew up together. But as Irene looks Clare over during this reunion, she can hardly believe her eyes. Clare is sporting platinum blonde hair, and for a moment – just a moment – Irene thought she was white. But both women are Black – although they can hide it. Both are light-skinned enough that they can, if they want to, pass for white. It’s something we see Irene do briefly at the start – and she doesn’t seem very comfortable doing it, constantly hiding behind her own hat and avoiding eye contact whenever possible. But for Clare, passing has become a way of life. She even has a white husband (Alexander Skarsgard). “Does he…?” Irene asks, before Clare cuts in: “Know?” He doesn’t.

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Tales from the Loop featurette

Since we’re all cooped up inside and movie theaters seem to be on the brink of extinction (thanks, coronavirus), here’s a bit of good news: a new show is coming to Amazon Prime Video that just might become your next obsession.

Tales From the Loop is based on the moody sci-fi art of Simon Stålenhag, and the enigmatic-looking first season will be directed by a murder’s row of terrific talent. Check out a new look at the series below.
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the night house review

Jump scares get a bad rap, primarily because filmmakers use them in cheap ways. The worst kind of jump scare – the kind that deserves scorn – are of the fake-out variety. As in: someone opens a closet door and a cat jumps out, or a completely harmless person suddenly pops into frame and the soundtrack blares for a second. These types of jump scares can hit the bricks. But there are good jump scares. These are the ones designed to startle and shake you with genuinely scary moments, not faux distractions. David Bruckner‘s The Night House is full of several of these genuine jump scares – and boy oh boy are they effective.  Read More »

teen spirit trailer new

We’re in the midst of some sort of unexpected pop singer movie boom. We had A Star is Born and Vox Lux last year, and this year we’ll have Her Smell and this film, Teen Spirit. And here’s a twist: all four of these films played at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. What are the odds?

Teen Spirit stars Elle Fanning as a teenager who dreams of pop superstardom. Can she make it? She might be able to, with the help of Rebecca Hall. Watch the Teen Spirit trailer below.

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‘Teen Spirit’ Trailer: Elle Fanning Becomes a Pop Star

Teen Spirit trailer

Our culture loves rags-to-riches stories about normal people who perform under extraordinary circumstances and become superstars – we’ve seen it in everything from Rocky to A Star is Born. It’s a time-honored premise, so it’s no surprise that another film has come along to put its own spin on that idea.

Teen Spirit is the directorial debut of actor Max Minghella, who has appeared in shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and movies like The Social Network. Elle Fanning (Super 8, I Think We’re Alone Now) leads the cast as a teenager who enters an international singing competition to escape her past. Check out the trailer below.
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godzilla vs kong synopsis

Now that Godzilla vs. Kong has assembled a monster of a cast, the Legendary MonsterVerse film officially heads into production. With the start of production comes the release of the first Godzilla vs Kong synopsis, which gives us a better idea of what to expect in the kaiju clash of the century.

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godzilla vs. kong cast rebecca hall

Get ready for Godzilla vs. King Kong vs. Rebecca Hall. The Professor Marston and the Wonder Women actress is the latest name to join the Godzilla vs. Kong cast, alongside Millie Bobby BrownAlexander Skarsgard and more. The film from director Adam Wingard will follow the upcoming sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters. 

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