This column will take a hiatus next week due to a little trip to Park City, Utah, but not to worry – thanks to a particularly heavy week of new disc releases, we’ve bulged past our usual five recommendations to six. And they’re good ones: one of last year’s best indies, two terrific late summer/early fall studio pictures, a pair of must-haves from the Criterion Collection, and a forgotten horror thriller that’s worth a curiosity glance.
On the eve of the release of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, the filmmaker sat down for a forty minute discussion with Pete Hammond, the awards columnist at Deadline.com, and fellow director Paul Thomas Anderson, who had recently seen a final cut of the film. Refreshingly, Hammond avoided the typical pre-release press gibberish in favor of a planned discussion about 70mm films — The Hateful Eight, for example, and Anderson’s The Master — and why they matter. It’s the sort of discussion that will send you to your repertory cinema straight away. …Read More
The Hollywood remake machine shows no signs of stopping — if this weekend’s latest big-screen retelling is any indication. A 3D remake of the horror classic Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hooper and produced/co-written by Steven Spielberg, hit theaters. The film has garnered mixed reviews, but the movie’s presence recalls stories about the original Poltergeist, which has been dubbed cursed by fans and critics. Read on for the spooky real-life story behind the original film — and several other terror tales that were really haunted and …Read More
The Babadook, the gripping new horror film from Australian director Jennifer Kent, is a movie filled with terrifying sequences and things jumping out from the dark, but for this viewer, the scariest scene in it happens in broad daylight. Single mother Ameila (Essie Davis) is at the park, chatting with a friend as her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) frolics on the playground equipment nearby. As the conversation escalates in intensity, Samuel starts yelling for his mummy to watch him. She doesn’t. The music gets more harrowing, the close-ups get tighter, the kid yells louder — and I could barely keep my eyes on the screen. I’ve been at the playground with my kid; I know the danger of zoning out, for even a second. In that scene, and throughout the film, Kent is tapping into something far more unnerving than serial killers or the supernatural: the everyday terror of being a parent. It’s an approach that has produced some of the scariest movies of our time.
Entertainment Weekly’s big new cover story on the upcoming Terminator: Genisys (yes, that’s actually spelling it, this is not a gag) has got fans of the series plenty riled up — and for good reason. It seems that the geniuses behind the flick have gone and screwed up the story’s mythology in a pretty major way, creating an epic “ret-con”/continuity issue that would be shocking, were it not so common among sequels to beloved movies. You’ll find the spoiler after the jump, along with a few other examples of sequels that asked us to swallow some pretty strange reveals.
Bad movies are not a simple matter. There are nearly as many categories of terrible movies as there are for great ones: there are films that are insultingly stupid (Batman & Robin), unintentionally funny (Birdemic), unintentionally, painfully unfunny (White Chicks), so bad they’re depressing (Transformers), and so on. But the most rewarding terrible movies are those we know as “so bad they’re good” — entertaining in their sheer incompetence, best braved in numbers, where the ham-fisted dramatics and tin-eared dialogue become fodder for years of random quotes and inside jokes. And in this spirit, Flavorwire brings you the latest installment in our monthly So Bad It’s Good feature, and a special Halloween edition, no less: John Boorman’s notorious 1977 sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic.
This week, the Criterion Collection releases The Innocents, Jack Clayton’s magnificently moody and psychologically complex adaptation of Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw. Aside from the crisp, deep-focus black-and-white cinematography, the elegant scares, the edgy abstract imagery, and Deborah Kerr’s terrific leading performance, the film is made particularly memorable by the two truly disturbing children at its center — and thus, with Halloween sneaking up like a well-dressed child with a knowing smirk, we take a look at some of cinema’s creepiest …Read More