New Woman in Black poster makes its debut – We’re roughly a week away from the debut of Hammer Films’ The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe in one of his biggest post-Harry Potter roles to date. The film opens on February 3rd, but we’ve yet to see a final poster for the release. Instead, we’ve got a look at the newest piece of promotional art for the movie, which you can see above.
We like this teaser, but we’re genuinely curious as to when we’ll get a legitimate final poster for this title. This can’t really be it, can it?
Video shows uncut scenes from German version of Hitchcock’s Psycho - While this clip has been floating around the Internet since the middle of 2010 (which officially makes it older than Jesus in Internet time), it’s still really cool.
German viewers were tresated to a slightly altered version of Psycho when the film aired in their country – one that noticeably more explicit. While US censors were strict about the film’s violence and the undressing scene, Germany took a more liberal approach – resulting in some interesting differences between the two versions.
This clip showcases the changes (including a more violent Arbogast death sequence) when compared to the US version, which makes for fascinating viewing for anyone who loves Hitchcock’s classic film. Check it out below and see these extended scenes in all of their uncut glory.
Brian Keene’s Ghoul gets a release date: In the spirit of full disclosure, horror author Brian Keene and I have been friends for a long time – but that doesn’t mean he gets preferential treatment from me (nor would he ever ask for it.) That being said, we’ve finally got an official release date for Ghoul – the film adaptation of his coming of age novel about monsters lurking beneath a Pennsylvania town and the kids who must confront them.
Ghoul recently had its Slamdance premiere (to great acclaim) and the masses can finally see what all the fuss is about when it premieres on the Chiller network on Friday, April 13th at 9PM. Set your DVRs -- you'll want to check this one out.
John Cusack looks ready to fly away in new The Raven poster – It’s been a busy week for John Cusack’s The Raven. First came news that the film was being shifted from its March release date and pushed back to April 27th, then they released this cool new poster.
Say what you will about Cusack playing the noted horror author and father of detective fiction (we find it a little hard to swallow, but if Robert Downey Jr. can make the cerebral Sherlock Holmes an action hero, then we’re willing to give Cusack the benefit of the doubt here), but the film and poster look interesting. Cusack’s Poe is called upon to help a Baltimore detective catch a serial killer basing his crimes on the author’s works. Now the question is when do we get a film starring HP Lovecraft duking it out with a deadly Cthulhu cult?
Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin hasn’t been marketed as a horror film – but rest assured, it is as horrific as anything concocted in a Saw movie or any of the other “torture porn” flicks that have become synonymous with the genre in recent years. Unlike those films, though, We Need to Talk About Kevin is much smarter – its horror much deeper and more disturbing than the brutal death of films like Hostel. This isn’t a title that mistakes gore for terror – it’s a tale that delves deep into some of the things that should truly scare us. It’s a shame that horror as a genre has been so marginalized that a film like this – a movie filled with things that are genuinely upsetting and unsettling – has to be labeled as something more akin to a thriller.
Based on Lionel Shriver’s novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin instantly evokes memories of countless “evil kid” movies – titles like The Bad Seed or The Good Son. It is, in the most basic sense, a bad kid movie – titular Kevin is a mother-hating monster from the moment he’s born until the film’s final scenes, which find him approaching his 18th birthday. Yet, to sell Kevin in such simplistic tones might be good marketing (audiences like to have an idea of what they’re in for before they enter a theater), it really does a disservice to Shriver’s novel and Ramsay’s film overall. This is something deeper than just another generic “evil kid” flick – it’s a story of evil, for sure, but it’s also one of guilt, and loss, and penance, and regret. Its examination of evil extends beyond the obvious (Kevin) and how it can spread like a cancer, inflicting people who are otherwise good and decent folk. To write the film off in such glib terms as classifying it as another version of The Orphan seems to sell this work short.
Tilda Swinton’s Eva Khatchadourian is the film’s real focal point. A travel writer who gives up her life of globetrotting when she meets a man (John C. Reilly) and bears him a son, things seem destined for domestic bliss. However, as Ramsay intercuts present day footage with flashbacks involving Eva’s early days with her child, we know something has happened in the interim that has left her broken, depressed, and despised by the people in her community.
What happens, in short, is Kevin. From the time her son is born until he commits his atrocities in a locked gymnasium, Kevin is adversarial at every turn. From his constant screaming fits as an infant to his destructive toddler years through to his murderous rampage, Kevin is clearly not normal. He seems to hate Eva – yet hides how he feels about her from his father. The kid drives a wedge into everything – including Eva’s marriage – and he continually widens these chasms as he ages.
If the film has any significant shortcoming, it’s that young Kevin is a little too “bad seed” to take seriously. The level of malevolence this child displays from such an early age can be difficult to swallow and kept me from wholly embracing the story early on. The child actors who play the character at all of his various ages are great (and in a nice touch, they all look very similar), but it requires a fair amount of disbelief suspending to buy that a kid who’s two or three years old can be this manipulative and cunning. Yes, that’s sort of the point – Kevin is like us on the surface, but only there, and underneath it all he’s as alien as anything that ever supposedly came here on a flying saucer – but it dances dangerously close to implausible and threatens to upset the entire house of cards Ramsay is building
Luckily, the apple cart is never upset and the film works. We Need to Talk About Kevin isn’t the first film to deal with the phenomenon of school killers (Gus Van Sant’s Elephant predates it by years), but it is arguably the best – and one of the only ones to examine these heinous acts through the eyes of someone intimately involved but relegated to the periphery. If you ever wondered what life might have been like for the Harris and Klebold families in the wake of Columbine, this could have been it. Because it examines these ideas and situations in a (mostly) compelling and intelligent fashion, We Need to Talk About Kevin emerges as one of the best films of 2011 and proof that “horror” can be more than just masked slashers and torture.
Horror on the Horizon
January has been pretty decent to horror film fans, and the last week of the month and the start of February look set to continue the trend.
First up, director Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree – sequel to the cult classic horror flick The Wicker Man – opens in limited release on January 27th. Early buzz has been mixed, but the idea of Hardy returning to make a sequel all these years later is intriguing.
February 3rd sees the wide release of The Woman in Black, which finds Daniel Radcliffe exploring life post Harry Potter. Radcliffe stars as a young lawyer sent to a small village where the ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals in the feature film version. Brought to us by the fine folks at Hammer, this one should please fans of period ghost stories.
The rest of the week sees limited releases for Ti West’s The Innkeepers and the British chiller Kill List. Both features are already available on VOD (where they’ve earned tons of praise from horror fans), but if you’re itching to see them on the big screen, check your local listings.