The Horror News
Ben Stiller Does Horror (Again) - Thanks to a trio of increasingly moronic trips down Focker lane and movies like Tower Heist and Night of the Museum, any genre cred Ben Stiller has is pretty much shot, rendering news that Stiller is directing a period piece horror movie a little strange. But, if you're a die hard fan of The Ruins, as I happen to be (it's in my top 10 of the 2000s), you can forgive Stiller for Little Fockers solely because he produced Carter Smith's tremendous killer plant flick. So, I'm thrilled to see that he and his Ruins producing partners at Red Hour are getting back in the horror game. The film in question is called The Mountain and it's about a young woman in the early 20th Century who, "struggles to confront her destiny after stumbling upon a mysterious object that forces her to examine the secrets of her past." Helen Childress, who wrote Stiller's directorial breakthrough Reality Bites, will be adapting the film.
The ABCs of Death Teaser Trailer - I should be the perfect audience member for The ABCs of Death. I love the Alamo Drafthouse, I love the directors involved, I love anthology horror movies, and I love short films, so you think I'd be instantly sold. I'm a little hesitant, though. I'm not a big fan of horror that's all about the kill, so I'm a little concerned about a horror anthology that's essentially just 26 different ways to kill people. But, having now watched the first trailer for the film, which is just a compilation of all the submissions for the 26th director spot, my concerns aren't quite as strong. Sure, it's basically just a bunch of people getting killed, but considering these are supposed to be the "amateur" filmmakers and you can already see so much imagination on display, I can't wait to see what the pros are up to.
Romero's Latest Zombie Shamblings - Oh, George A. Romero. Will you ever get back to making movies that aren't about zombies? No? Fine. At least you're now exploring other people's material, specifically Harvard professor Steven Schlozman's novel The Zombie Autopsies. I haven't read the book, which is about scientists trying to determine what causes the undead to rise, but I can see promise in the premise and if Romero insists on sticking with zombies, I'm glad he's at least branching out a bit.
The Horror Reviews
This'll be a short section this week since I've already reviewed the two big horror titles of the month. So we'll just pull excerpts, eh?
The Thing - "This new Thing, however? Practically all it does is make half-assed decisions that crumble under barely strenuous scrutiny. It flies in a hot chic grad student and then has the person who demanded she be there literally tell her that she isn’t there to think. It has very gnarly designs for its creature, but then they’re executed with not-quite-there, but occasionally impressive, CGI that only serves to instantly date the film. It has a good idea in its alternative to the blood test, but as soon as you think about it, the whole thing crumbles apart: Apparently the Thing’s biology won’t let it copy inorganic materials, but it does have a laundromat hidden somewhere inside. I can see the Don Draper pitch now: The (New) Thing– it won’t duplicate your fillings, but it’ll get the horrible blood stains out of your mutilated clothes in a jiffy!"
Paranormal Activity 3 - "Beyond de-aging the characters, however, there are still more layers to peel off of this demon-haunted family's history. The thing that impressed most about PA2 was its ability to expand the demon mythos introduced in the first film without feeling like it was a stretch to connect the two, and it's exactly what impresses most about PA3. Returning screenwriter Christopher B. Landon does a commendable job of further defining the unique relationship these two girls have with the unseen thing that goes bump in the night, though unfortunately most of that comes in the film's last hurrah."
The Horror Horizon
Is this the weakest October for horror in years or what? There's not even a single horror movie hitting theaters on Halloween weekend for crying out loud. What's the deal, Hollywood? Surely someone could have scheduled something to take Saw's place?
At least there are some interesting titles hitting DVD and Blu-ray just in time for every horror fan's favorite holiday. But before we get to the actual interesting titles, let's talk about two no one cares about: Wrong Turn 4 and Skeleton Key 3 (Yes, apparently there was a Skeleton Key 2). If you like schlock, there's little doubt these won't deliver in spades, but no one of inspiration appears to be involved with either STV sequel.
As for the good stuff, you've got A Serbian Film and Attack the Block. Yes, A Serbian Film is a legitimately good film. It's very well shot, acted and scored, but it's also the kind of movie that I recommend to no one. If you know what it's about and are still interested, you're probably going to be quite impressed by it. If you squirm at the mere idea of an ex-porn star who is basically trapped in the world's most revolting porn film, no amount of solid filmmaking talent is going to make it worth your time. As for Attack the Block, does anything really need to be said about it at this point? You've no doubt heard all the buzz. People have been yammering endlessly about this film for basically the past six-months, so my only addition to is that I highly recommend you watch it with as many friends as possible.
And finally the wild card that is Faces in the Crowd hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday. It's straight-to-video, which doesn't bother me as much as it having skipped the festival circuit, but it has an interesting premise and I was a big fan of Tell-Tale, which had a similar STV/festival fate, so I'm willing to give it a shot.