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Good day, excavators of all things crypt-ridden. It’s something of an anomalous weekend for horror fans, as Mike Flanagan’s enjoyable mind-bender Oculus released wide, while Jim Jarmusch’s vampiric romance Only Lovers Left Alive received more limited distribution. Rarely do two such critically acclaimed genre films hit theaters at the same time. So let’s just take a moment to appreciate such things, while we absently wonder whether or not Only Lovers’ characters would be able to see themselves in Oculus’ mirror centerpiece.
Time for mini-news. A24 announced Jeff Baena’s Sundance hit Life After Beth – the zombie comedy starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan and John C. Reilly – will hit theaters August 15. The Pact director Nicholas McCarthy’s supernatural follow-up Home was taken off the market by IFC Midnight. Finally, The World’s End star Nick Frost is planning on directing his own horror short later this year -- completely free from frequent collaborators Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg – based on a script he wrote. That makes me want to shoot a gun in the air and yell, "Ahhhh!"
Lose Your Head with The Voices’ New StillsHigh-profile horror comedies are more prevalent now than ever, and Persepolis co-director Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices sounds like it could be one of the best, or at least the strangest. If nothing else, the most Ryan Reynolds-iest. In the image seen above, which is clearly a milk ad waiting to be realized, Reynolds is feeding something to the disembodied head of Gemma Arterton. Judging from the film’s Sundance reviews, that isn’t the only thing he does to her body parts. Yowzah!
Reynolds plays a mentally disturbed man named Jerry who has been avoiding his medication, which results in his cat insisting he become a serial killer, while his dog tries to talk him out of it. (Both are voiced by Reynolds.) He starts taking his medicine again, but it seems Jerry is already too far gone for it to matter, as you can tell by the picture below, via Empire. The Voices also stars Anna Kendrick and Ella Smith, who along with Arterton play coworkers who Jerry tries to woo, but I think we know how it will go for at least one of them. We’ll keep you posted on when this flick gets a cleavage knife. I mean, a release date. I can’t imagine why I made that mistake.
The Chupacabra is So Gonna Get You in IndigenousYou’ve seen a billion movies with aliens, millions with Bigfoot, and thousands with mutant reptile movies, but you’ve probably only seen a handful of non-Syfy movies about the legendary cryptid so often confused for dying animals with the mange. Alastair Orr’s indie Indigenous is looking to give the disgusting beast more time in the spotlight when it premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival, and this festival trailer could use that light to brighten up the dark, dangerous jungle that our stereotypical cast of traveling Americans are stuck in.
Vacationing in Panama, this fivesome makes friends with a mysterious woman in a bar who takes them out to a secluded area of the jungle near beautiful waterfalls. Wouldn’t you know it, the woman goes missing and the friends are soon being hunted by one of the most horrifying looking creatures that comes to mind. I mean seriously, there’s only the slightest chance that this movie is going to look or feel different from a ton of other "stalked in the woods" movies – though Orr was thankfully wise enough to keep this out of the found footage genre – but this freaky ass Chupacabra makeup/costume will no doubt live on after the film does. Maybe he and ChromeSkull from the Laid to Rest movies can team up.
The Grudge Reboot Isn’t Really a RebootFor those of us who tsked loudly when Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures announced they were teaming up with Good Universe to recycle creaky-throated ghosts for a retread of 2004’sThe Grudge, a half-sigh of relief is in order. Screenwriter Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train) spoke with FearNet to clear the air about what their intentions are in going back to this universe, and he is up front in saying it isn’t a remake or a reboot, and will simply take place in the same universe as both the American version and the Takashi Shimizu-created Ju-on series, which is still a singular reboot-free entity.
"This is pushing the mythology forward," Buhler said, "while keeping the concepts and the spirits of those movies, yet finding a way to tell a story within that world, which is exciting." And as a response to diehard fans who think they’re going tarnish the franchise’s roots, Buhler says, "We aren’t raiding the treasure box. We are trying to find new ways to bring stories forward that are familiar at the same time." Could this be a sign that at least someone in Hollywood has figured out that franchise updates don’t always have to go back to the origin stories?
Unsettling Trailer for Dutch Fable Borgman Will Mark YouA And while American studios are adding to franchises, Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam has created a wholly original film called Borgman that I’m extremely anxious to see now that the TIFF hit has a June 6 release date to go along with this crazy ass new trailer that dips headfirst into all kinds of disturbing waters.
Borgman (Jan Bijvoet) is a mysterious figure who is unearthed and set free to haunt a house of an arrogant couple and their three children, plus a nanny. His presence creates havoc within a small suburban community by feeding upon everyone’s fear, and generally doing all kinds of weird things. There are small animals afoot, along with knifes, back scabs, wells, and more. I don’t quite know all the places this film will go, but I’m more than willing follow, even if it’s sort of into a guy’s stomach. I love this poster.
Let Us Prey’s First Teaser will Take Over Your Mind…ViolentlyWhereas Borgman dealt in tonal disturbances, Brian O’Malley’s Irish horror Let us Prey is a far more visceral descent into madness, as this teaser trailer conveys. This clip is full of dripping blood, fire, arched eyebrows, a body-less head, fire, smoke, fire, firefirefire!!! There’s not a lot of plot to infer from this random assortment of pain-filled rage, so it’s a good time for a press release description to come in.
Let Us Prey takes place over the course of a night in a small town police station, where a stranger is being held prisoner. But iron bars can’t stop him from telepathically controlling the minds of everyone else in the station, making them do the most evil and psychopathic things imaginable. Of course, there is one cop (Pollyanna McIntosh) who is immune to his mental maneuvers, but she still has to combat the co-workers and inmates whose bloodthirst knows no bounds. Lots of solid practical gore is always going to make me happy, and the presence of Liam "Davos Seaworth" Cunningham takes care of any remnants of wariness. There’s no word on when this will ever come stateside, but I’m willing to set fire to the streets to make it happen.