The Horror News
TIFF11 Midnight Madness Line-up - The best part of any film festival is inevitably going to be its midnight selection. And as much as I'd love to go to the Toronto International Film Festival proper, what truly makes me feel the pain of not attending are the 10 films slated for its Midnight Madness section. They're not all strictly horror movies, but the ones that are are all titles we'll all be dying to see once the buzz starts building at TIFF. And considering we're talking about Livid, a new film from the directors of Inside, Lovely Molly, a new film from Eduardo Sanchez, and You're Next (pictured above), from the makers of A Horrible Way to Die, I have a feeling that buzz is going to be pretty loud.
Pet Sematary Remake - Why, Alexandre Aja? Why? I quite like High Tension despite the goofy ending. I kind of love The Hills Have Eyes, which is one of the best remakes of the past decade. I had a ton of fun with Piranha 3D, as well. Hell, I'm even willing to pretend that Mirrors doesn't exist. Point is, you're a solid director and I'll watch anything your name is attached to (even P2), I just wish that one day you'll follow High Tension with a horror movie that isn't a remake.
Of course everything is just "in talks" at this stage and a Pet Sematary remake has struggled to materialize for years now, so it's not like this is on the verge of going in front of cameras any time soon, it's just depressing to see Aja still stay in remake territory. I'd love to see him do something original for a change, so I truly hope this whole deal falls through and he can get back to making Cobra: The Space Pirate (and even that is an adaptation of a manga, but it's at least a step in the right direction.)
Summit Buys Derrickson/Cargill Horror Movie - I already gushed over Scott Derrickson/Christopher Cargrill's untitled horror movie in my first entry for The Last Horror Blog, so I'll keep this brief. I'm very happy to read that Summit Entertainment has picked up the US distribution rights for the film, and in doing so they've release a bit more about the plot. You can read that here.
The Caller Deja Vu - Bloody-Disgusting posted a sales trailer (which usually means it probably gives away too much, but it seems like a pretty standard trailer in this case) for The Caller, which gave me a serious case of deja vu. I honestly can't recall where or when I've seen it, but I know that I have. Either way, it looks like a pleasantly twisted version of Frequency, which is okay with me. I just hope that this breaks from the pattern of bad horror movies Stephen Moyer has been appearing in lately.
The Horror Reviews
The '90s is generally considered to be a pretty crappy decade for horror, but that's an opinion I just don't truck with. Of course, I'm a child of the '80s who grew up in the '90s, so I've got a particular generational fondness for the decade that most aren't going to have, which is why every now and then I get on a serious nostalgia trip and just need to watch '90s horror.
Enter Tales From the Hood, the Spike Lee-produced, Rusty Cundieff-directed 1995 horror anthology. Though I'm sure I'd seen it as a kid, this was actually my first time ever giving it my undivided attention and, man, this Tales From the Hood just is not messing around. Considering the title I'd just assumed it would be an urban-themed riff on Tales From the Crypt, but that's hardly the case here. It's got a dark sense of humor, sure, but it's not of the goofy, sexy, perverse Crypt variety. This is a legit horror anthology.
Sure, its messages to/about the African American community can get a little heavy handed, particularly in the "Hard-Core Convert" segment (which is actually rather unsettling to watch during its Clockwork Orange-esque sequence), but they're also pretty ballsy. It's very rare that you find a horror movie that's actually confrontational about social issues. Oh, the Dawn of the Deads of the world might superficially be metaphors for consumerism, and slashers try to get away with themes of sexual frustration and the male gaze, but they don't have nearly the bite Tales From the Hood does. And even if you don't appreciate the rather radical social commentary, you've gotta at least throw it up for the flick's strict genre elements. People getting twisted apart, zombies chasing down cop cars, paintings coming to life and killing-- it's all memorable stuff.
Unfortunately the same can't exactly be said for Man's Best Friend, another bit of '90s horror available on Netflix Watch Instantly. Granted, I had a lot of fun with it, but that's mainly because it feels like a prototype for Syfy channel movies, and Syfy movies are my guiltiest of pleasures. Not only does it have the plot of one - a dog genetically engineered to have all the traits of nature's greatest predators is broken out of a lab by a terrible reporter - but it also has a cast of (then) fading actors (hey, I love Lance Henriksen as much as the next guy, but his career has sadly and unjustly never been A list) and special effects that are behind the curve. It does have some good gags in it, and Max is an appropriately threatening beast, but like all Syfy movies, Man's Best Friend is best taken with a stiff drink and a comfortable couch.
The Horror Horizon
It's been a stale summer, but the horizon is looking up. We're a week away from Final Destination 5! Granted it's perfectly understandable if no one is excited about yet another death-is-coming-to-get-ya movie after the pathetic turn that was The Final Destination, but I'm still foolishly optimistic. I appreciate the twist they appear to be introducing this time, which has come full circle since FD2 (now instead of introducing life to save their own, they have to take it), and I've got an overall soft spot for these movies.
Between now and then we have The Clinic on DVD. I haven't actually seen this Australian thriller staring Andy Whitfield (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), but I've heard good things from a number of reliable sources that it's worth your time. Here's hoping that buzz is right.