Another spin on the classic and truly twisted Edgar Allan Poe tale The Tell Tale Heart will be causing a stir at this year's Cannes Film Market, and we have the trailer and sales art for you right here. Dig it!
From the Press Release
Darclight Films, the edgy genre-driven label of Arclight Films, announces the acquisition and release of first-look footage of John La Tier’s inspired directorial debut THE TELL TALE HEART starring Rose McGowan (GRINDHOUSE, TVs "CHARMED," JAWBREAKER, SCREAM), Peter Bogdanovich ("THE SOPRANOS," HUMBOLDT COUNTY, FESTIVAL IN CANNES, TVs "THE SIMPSONS") and Patrick John Flueger (FOOTLOOSE, BROTHERS, TVs "THE 4400"). Based on the classic short story of the same name penned by Edgar Allan Poe, America’s first master of horror over 150 years ago, La Tier, who also co-wrote the script, transplants the gloomy Gothic story into vibrant and enchanting modern day New Orleans. Darclight Films will be sharing never-before-seen footage in Cannes.
“We’re thrilled to present THE TELL TALE HEART to buyers for the very first time, and Cannes is the perfect place to do so,” said Clay Epstein, VP of Sales and Acquisitions for Arclight Films, who secured the deal. “It’s one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most well known stories, and only a few others have been translated into as many languages worldwide as THE TELL TALE HEART. The combination of the incredibly talented team of cast and crew that have come together to give new life to a truly classic and horrifying tale and a built-in global audience give the film outstanding commercial viability.”
THE TELL TALE HEART remains true to the original insofar as the story’s protagonist is tormented by the still-beating heart of the old vulture-eyed man he murdered and buried beneath the floorboards of his residence. The film grows the tale and expands the character’s troubled mindscape to include a hauntingly romantic arc illuminated by McGowan. The filmmakers were adamant about maintaining a fervent connection to the classic and world-renowned tale’s literary roots.
“It’s arguably the seed of the entire genre,” said La Tier, who was compelled to resurrect Poe’s story albeit with a twist. Certainly Poe created a unique and starkly terrifying approach to horror fiction. He placed his readers in the minds of his mad characters and so had a way of leaving his readers feeling insane themselves. “The fear of the characters became the fear of the readers. I wanted to remain true to that while broadening the character’s psyche through the introduction of a female element to hint at the possibility of redemption, something entirely missing in Poe’s sublime version,” stated La Tier.
Moving the location of THE TELL TALE HEART to New Orleans was a stroke of inspired creativity. “I think the city is definitely a character,” said McGowan. “If there was going to be a city with a heartbeat under its floorboards, New Orleans is it.”
“The director, John La Tier, did a magnificent job of encapsulating the essence of Poe’s classic story with a modern surprise while capturing the soul of one of the most unique cities in the world,” according to Executive Producer, Joey Tufaro.
THE TELL TALE HEART was produced by Daniel Zirilli via Popart Film Factory and Leverage Entertainment.
Darclight Films is handling worldwide sales.
The graphic novel prequel to Pacific Rim entitled Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero is heading at us like a speeding explosive rocket to the head of rampaging Kaiju and we have a look at the opening pages for you!
Look for Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, in theatres July 12th of 2013. Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini, Rob Kazinsky, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Diego Klattenhoff star.
Related News: Visit our Pacific Rim archive
From acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic sci-fi action adventure Pacific Rim.
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes--a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)--who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Multi-talented musician and filmmaker Aurelio Voltaire has announced that he will be helming an upcoming full-length horror musical feature film adaptation of his comic book Oh My Goth! Read on for the details!
From the Press Release:
After performing worldwide onstage, directing commercially, and following the film festival circuit with his stop-motion animated films, Voltaire will now direct a film based on his own comic work. The feature version of OH MY GOTH! will have that strange brand of dark comedy and music that he has been performing at Goth clubs and sci-fi and horror conventions across the land for years now.
“It was time to finally unite my storytelling, my music, my twisted humor, and filmmaking sensibilities all into one project,” says Voltaire. “It has all the things I love: monsters, rock and roll, comedy, and sex mashed into a giant ball of awesome.”
Producer Keryn Thompson is very excited about the content: “There's loud music. There's scantily clad girls. There's Satan,” she says.
James Morgart, also producing, says that he joined the project because “Voltaire’s material stretches across so many genres that he sort of encompasses every bastardized sub-genre to be associated with the Gothic tradition since Walpole's Castle of Otranto. His plans for this film are to give his fans all of their favorite aspects of his work: music, animation, and subversively witty humor.”
Bring it on! Oh My Goth! the film is currently in pre-production and will shoot in the New York City metro area.
When the reanimated skeletons of Necronus, a cemetery planet across the dark expanse of space, decide they need Earth paved into a landing strip, they send possibly the worst of their agents to undertake the task. Arrogant, pompous, and not the brightest laser in the arsenal, Heironymous Poshe takes on human form and travels to Earth aboard his Black Spire, a spaceship that could easily pass for a giant black cathedral. However, Poshe has plans of his own--namely, to avoid a desk job on the Necrid home world and live a life of leisure in a fixed orbit above Earth. For centuries Poshe (along with his robot slave and an imprisoned midget) has avoided his prime directive. Instead he has spent his time abducting Earth women, celebrities, and bands for a non-stop nightly party above the Black Spire.
But Poshe’s days of carefree hot babe abduction are coming to an end. Tired of Poshe’s lack of results, Lord Krom Wrath, supreme ruler of the Necrus, launches a full-scale invasion of Earth. Poshe bands with the only people on Earth who understand his cause (a group of Goth kids, a cadre of Ninja priests, and a small army of Hasidic rabbis--ironically, all of them people who wear all black!) to repel the oncoming armada of Necrid ships. The final space battle is the “Jews in Space” Mel Brooks promised us and never delivered!
With Aftershock making noise in theatres this weekend, we have scored a nine-minute behind-the-scenes look at Nicolas Lopez's brutal disaster/horror hybrid. Check it out, and read our Aftershock reviews here.
Aftershock, an earthquake thriller scripted by Cabin Fever and Hostel's Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, and Guillermo Amoedo, revolves around an insane asylum on an island, where the inmates escape during the quake.
It’s the next "Eli Roth Presents" film, and it marks the English-language debut from director Nicolas Lopez. His last two films, Que Pena Tu Vida and Que Pena Tu Boda, were the highest-grossing Chilean films of 2010 and 2011. Roth most recently produced The Last Exorcism, a microbudget film that grossed $70 million worldwide.
Roth and Lopez wrote the story together, inspired by the latter’s experience when an earthquake devastated Chile in 2010. In his first big acting role since Inglourious Basterds, Roth plays the lead. Among the other cast is Selena Gomez, who was in Chile doing a concert and came over to do a cameo. Lopez’s frequent collaborators Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez, and Lorenza Izzo also star along with Natasha Yarovenko, Andrea Osvart, and Miguel Asensio.
Look for it in theatres NOW.
In Chile an American tourist’s vacation goes from good to great when he meets some beautiful women travelers. But when an earthquake ravages the underground nightclub they are in, a fun night quickly turns to terror. Escaping to the surface is just the beginning as they face the nightmarish chaos above ground.
This one is for all of you friendly neighborhood fangbangers out there! HBO has unveiled nearly two dozen official stills for the sixth season of "True Blood," and we have every one of them right here for you! Suck on this!
Season 6 picks up immediately after last year's bloody finale, which found Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) attempting to escape a very scary--and very naked--Bill (Stephen Moyer, who also directed the premiere episode). Joining the "True Blood" regulars this year are guest stars Rutger Hauer, Arliss Howard, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Karolina Wydra, Luke Grimes, and Amelia Rose Blaire.
NBC's 2013 Upfront presentation is Monday, the 13th, and we should find out then if "Hannibal" is returning for a second season. In the meantime here's a look at next week's Episode 1.08, "Fromage," which is being presented with limited interruptions due to a later start time of 10:15PM.
You can thank "The Office" for the fewer commercials in "Hannibal"; the long-running series is expanding to 45 minutes for its finale.
"Hannibal" Episode 1.08 - "Fromage" (airs 5/16/13)
HANNIBAL IS FORCED TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE WHILE WILL REACHES OUT ROMANTICALLY TO ALANA - The BAU investigates a murder in which the killer exposes the victim's vocal cords to literally play them like a cello. Meanwhile, Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) discovers that the killer, Tobias (Demore Barnes), murdered the victim as an attempt to gain Hannibal's attention but then makes an attempt to take Lecter’s life.
Will (Hugh Dancy) is driven to distraction by strange noises in his head and turns to Alana, in a romantic way, seeking peace and stability. Hannibal describes his relationship with Will to his therapist, Dr. Bedilia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). Vladmimir Cubrt and Dan Fogler guest star.
Word has come that Doug Liman's Tom Cruise flick All You Need Is Kill has hit a speed bump and will open a bit later than expected. Look for it in theatres on June 6, 2014, instead of the previously announced March 7th, 2014.
Cruise stars along with Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The screenplay is written by Dante Harper, Christopher McQuarrie and Joby Harold.
All You Need is Kill, based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel, centers on a soldier (Cruise) in a near-future war against aliens who relives his last day over and over after being killed. Through the training and battles he experiences in these time loops, he becomes a better soldier.
July 8th, 2013. That's the date David Cronenberg's The Brood will be hitting Blu-ray in the UK via Second Sight Films. May 10th, 2013. That's the date we start bitching here in the States that we don't have it on Blu-ray. Sigh.
Art Hindle, Cindy Hinds, Oliver Reed, and Samantha Eggar star along with lots of really grab-happy creepy kids.
Frank Carveth (Art Hindle – Invasion of the Body Snatchers) is becoming increasingly concerned about his ex-wife Nola’s (Eggar) secretive treatment at the sinister ‘Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics,’ headed by cult figure Dr Raglan (Reed – The Devils). His controversial and extreme methods seek to unleash his patients' rage, which take on physical manifestations. As Nola’s increasingly psychotic anger is vented during her sessions, brutal murders befall those at whom it’s directed. When Frank’s daughter is abducted, he is led to Raglan’s Institute and a terrifying, repellent final confrontation, renowned as one of the most notorious scenes in horror cinema.
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival and Market hasn't even officially begun yet, but already a deal is closing for Ryan Gosling's How to Catch a Monster as Warner Bros. grabs U.S. rights to the film, which is shooting now.
Gosling both wrote and directs How to Catch a Monster, which stars Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, and Rob Zabrecky. Per Deadline, Warner Bros. is paying a $3 million minimum guarantee. Marc Platt is the primary producer. The film is being financed and produced by Bold Films, and Sierra/Affinity will sell Gosling’s film overseas.
How to Catch a Monster is described as a fantasy thriller in which a single mother is swept into a dark underworld while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.
Look for lots more soon.
Deadpool will release on PS3 and Xbox 360 on June 25th. Players will step into the wacky and crazy shoes of the man himself, Deadpool! To prepare you for the action ahead, check out these dangerous new screens!
Some of you may know me as the Merc with a Mouth, (or the mercenary for hire) – what can I say; I have skills! (You know who else has skills?) High Moon Studios has skills, and I hired them to make my game, because they’re awesome, and so am I. But they’re not as awesome as I am, if that’s what you’ve heard. (Who’d you hear that from?) (Wait, listen…you smell something?)
Anywho, where was I? Oh yeah, ME, and my game DEADPOOL! With some cashola I ‘borrowed’ (ha!!! riiight…‘borrowed’) from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) (blah blah blah), and some of the big cheeses (mmmmm…cheeeeese) from Marvel Entertainment, my DEADPOOL game will feature all of my favorite things – katanas (check), big guns (and not just these amazing arm muscles) (check), crazy poop-your-pants action (check), hot chicks (check), maybe some of my X-MEN™ friends (well, depending on what they’re wearing), burritos, bouncy houses and of course ME!!! (check)(check) And check!
And now, a quote from me about my game:
"I, DEADPOOL, ‘hired’ Peter Della Penna and his physically embarrassing team at High Moon Studios for two reasons. First, because of their close proximity to Mexico so I can get fresh, authentic chimichangas delivered daily,” said DEADPOOL, newly self-appointed Head of High Moon Studios, and Supreme Commander of PR, Marketing, Legal, and just about everything I want to be in charge of at Activision Publishing, Inc. “Second, if High Moon can make an amazing game about big transforming robots look cool, then they can surely make me look amazing in a third-person action video game, from all angles (seriously Peter…my bottom is my good side, so don’t screw this up).”
And now, a quote from that other guy at High Moon Studios:
“We weren’t actually planning on making a DEADPOOL game,” said Peter Della Penna, formerly Head of High Moon Studios and now second in command. “But, DEADPOOL came by the studio one day, said he was taking over, and that if I didn’t h ir e Marve l writer Daniel Way p ronto and m ak e the most amazing DEADPOOL video game, he’d break both of our arms and beat us to death with them. I have kids, so we’re making the game.”
To learn more, visit the official Deadpool website.
With all "The Vampire Diaries" leads now well into their 20's (and in some cases 30's), it's about damn time they graduated from high school; and finally in next week's Episode 4.23, "Graduation," they do just that. Well, most of them do. Check out a preview.
"The Vampire Diaries" Episode 4.23 - "Graduation" - Season 4 Finale (airs 5/16/13)
WHO WILL TAKE THE CURE? — On graduation day Mystic Falls is overrun with ghosts intent on settling old scores and fulfilling their supernatural destinies. Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) life is in danger after a ghostly encounter, while Matt (Zach Roerig) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) join forces to battle a ghost determined to find the cure.
As everyone gathers for the graduation ceremony and the ghosts converge, help comes from an unlikely hero. Caroline (Candice Accola) receives a touching and unexpected graduation present, and Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) plan leads to the closing of the veil.
Elena (Nina Dobrev) makes a decision about the Salvatore brothers and faces an epic confrontation with Katherine (Nina Dobrev). Finally, Stefan (Paul Wesley) discovers a horrifying clue to the mystery surrounding Silas.
Chris Grismer directed the episode written by Caroline Dries and Julie Plec.
Telltale Games has announced that fans of the award-winning zombie game, The Walking Dead, can now purchase the game from UK retailers for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Read on to learn more.
From the Press Release
Telltale Games, leading developer of digital entertainment, announced today that the award-winning game series The Walking Dead is now available for purchase from UK retailers on Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and PC.
Published by Telltale Games and distributed in the UK exclusively by Avanquest Software, The Walking Dead game was originally an English-only digital download when the series debuted in April 2012. This new retail release includes subtitled versions in French, Italian, German and Spanish for the first time. It compiles all 5 episodes in the critically-acclaimed first season of the game on one disc.
The Walking Dead has earned Game of the Year honors from over 80 media outlets worldwide including Metacritic , USA Today, Wired, E! Online, Yahoo!, The Telegraph, Mashable, Polygon, and GamesRadar, and recently won the BAFTA Video Games Awards for Best Story and Best Mobile Game.
IGN.com gave the final episode of the season an Editor's Choice Award and a score of 9.5 out of 10 saying, "People will reference the series over and over as the benchmark for story-telling in games," and summed up the game's emotional impact by stating, "I cried in the final minutes, sat silently through the credits, and was speechless after the epilogue."
The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book series. Players experience life-changing events, meeting new characters and some familiar to fans of the comic book series, in events that foreshadow the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead offers an emotionally-charged, tailored game experience - a player's actions and choices affect how their story plays out across the entire series.
The Walking Dead is rated '18' for 'extreme violence, violence towards defenseless people and strong language' by PEGI.
The Walking Dead is available for purchase from Amazon, GAME, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Smyth’s Toy Superstore, GameStop, Tesco, ShoptoNet and other online games retailers.
To learn more, visit the official Telltale Games website.
Team Ninja has made an exciting announcement today and fans can get excited that Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate will be coming this Fall to Xbox 360 and PS3. The game will feature new modes from Dead or Alive 5 Plus, new stages and fighters, and much more!
From the Press Release
Team NINJA, today confirmed that DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE is being developed for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The game will be published by Tecmo Koei Europe this fall as both retail packaged goods and digital download. DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE heightens the signature DOA fighting style with the inclusion of all of the new modes from DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS, new stages and new fighters, including the first ever DOA appearance of Momiji and levels from the NINJA GAIDEN series to deliver the best in fighting entertainment.
“DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE is a great addition to our franchise,” said Yosuke Hayashi, Team NINJA leader. “The game has a lot to offer and we’re excited that our fans will have the opportunity to enjoy an experience that delivers on our signature high energy fighting entertainment.”
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE is the definitive DEAD OR ALIVE 5 package, with new content aimed to bring players the best 3D fighting experience to date. The addition of modes from DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS, including “Skill Info Plus” and a tutorial mode, will allow novice and expert fighters to refine their fighting style with razor-fine precision.
Players will take on the roles of their favorite DEAD OR ALIVE fighters—as well as combatants new to the franchise—in an intense, action-packed brawler set in visually striking locations from around the world. The game’s dynamic interactive stages include the return of classic fan favorites as well as new locations from the NINJA GAIDEN series such as Sky City Tokyo, and features deadly new danger zones, including the Great Buddha Statue, that change with the flow of the fight.
Characters in DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE continue to push a sensual yet realistic style, rendered in incredibly lifelike detail bringing every fighter to life in the heat of combat. The dream lineup is joined by the first ever appearance of NINJA GAIDEN’s Momiji who utilizes the Hayabusa-style Aiki-jujitsu taught to her by the master himself, Ryu Hayabusa. Soon to be announced additional characters will also add to the massive cast of fighters from DEAD OR ALIVE 5 which includes Ryu Hayabusa, Hayate, Ayane, Kasumi, Hitomi, Bayman, Christie, Lei Fang, Zack, Kokoro, Bass, Rig, Jann Lee, Helena, Lisa, Brad Wong, Eliot, Tina, along with Akira, Pai and Sarah Bryant from the Virtua Fighter series.
Along with a plethora of single-player modes including story mode, DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE will retain Online battles allowing players to compete head-to-head in a variety of playing fields and battle modes with another opportunity for fighters to improve their skills as they watch competitive matches.
Currently in development by Team NINJA, more details about DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE will be revealed in the coming months.
To learn more, visit the official Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate website.
Following up on our exclusives of the past two days, we now have over two dozen behind-the-scenes stills in anticipation of the horror-comedy slasher flick Sorority Party Massacre. Check 'em out!
Written and produced by Chris Freeman (who co-directed with Justin Jones), Sorority Party Massacre stars Kevin Sorbo (Bitch Slap!), Eve Mauro (The Steam Experiment), Ed O'Ross (The Hidden), C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher), Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil’s Rejects), Richard Moll (House), Ron Jeremy, Yvette Yates, Marissa Skell and lead Tom Downey.
Anchor Bay will be releasing the flick later this year. For more check out our exclusive set visit from December 2011 here, and be sure to "like" Sorority Party Massacre on Facebook and follow Sorority Party Massacre on Twitter.
In danger of losing his badge, a big city detective agrees to aid a small town sheriff in a routine missing persons investigation only to discover that at least one girl has gone missing in the sheriff's sleepy fishing town of Grizzly Cove each year for the last two decades. When a body finally emerges on the lake and suspects literally crawl out of the hills, the two lawmen realize they’re being toyed with, and to make things worse, the killer seems to have set his eyes on a group of sorority girls who are not only isolated by the lake but have their own nefarious plans in mind. Outnumbered and out of time, the two lawmen must solve the mystery of the missing girls or suffer the same fate.
Ryan Nicholson and Rotten Cotton. Put them together, and what do you get? The most insane T-shirts you could ever hope to own! That's right, kids! The fine folks over at RC are releasing T's based on Nicholson's Gutterballs and Hanger. Check em out!
And listen up, cheapskates! If you PRE-ORDER the official shirts for Ryan Nicholson's Hanger and Gutterballs before May 24th, you'll save some cash because after the 24th the price goes up so don't miss out!
For more info on Hanger and Gutterballs, visit the Plotdigger Films website.
Gutterballs design by Stephen Bunnell at Cryface Designs!
Hanger design by Patricio Carbajal of Pat Art!
Adam Simon is hard to keep up with. He has the dizzying intellect and spellbinding rhetoric of a well caffeinated university professor.
The depth of Simon’s knowledge of the craft of horror filmmaking is far more indicative of his level of expertise than his filmography might lead you to believe.
Simon is best known for writing the 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut, which was an unexpected success for a haunted house thriller. He is also known for his 1990’s B-movie classics Carnosaur and Brain Dead. With over 30 years of experience under his belt, Simon originally began in production and moved on to establish himself as a writer. He now makes his living writing horror for network television, a transition that has thus been very good to him.
One of last ‘graduates’ of the Roger Corman School of Film, Adam Simon has spent decades absorbing the ins and outs of creating a good film. With a particular pension for horror, Simon can talk for days about the genre, and he almost did. In this week’s installment of our Masters of Horror Series, Dread Central sits down with Adam Simon for a lengthy discussion of his theories on the guts of the craft.
Dread Central: Let’s start by talking about writing. What do you think are some of the more fundamental things you have come to understand about crafting a script?
Adam Simon: When people say, “write what you know,” it’s one of the most misunderstood pieces of advice that writers are given. It doesn’t mean that you can only write about your own experience, it means clothe whatever you write about in the reality that you’re writing. It means use the truth, and use what you know to make whatever you’re going to write about work. I have an axiom off of that, which would be ‘the farther out you want to go, the stronger your tether to the ground has to be. The more extravagant the events are that you are writing about, the more grounded and real, and even ordinary your writing needs to be.
DC: What about The Haunting in Connecticut? What in that script was real to you?
AS: Lots, at almost every level. And I would have to credit my writing partner Tim Metcalfe. I think we took lots of different things from each of our own lives; issues in our own marriages, issues in our families, the terror that any parent feels when their child is sick. All of those kinds of things. These realities may create specific moments, and I can find all kinds of moments how the behavior of the adults or the fights that happen, or of just the anxiety of your emotions, that come from absolutely specific things that either Tim or I would have experienced… I very consciously poured a lot of the anxieties, as a dad, that I was starting to feel about supporting my household, into that script.
DC: Do you feel like it was effective using the cliché of a haunted house in order to tell this story?
AS: There was nothing in new in 2009 about connecting the disintegration of a family with the idea of a haunted house. That is one of the solid tropes about it. One of the most common criticisms of that film, like of every haunted house movie, is the idea that it repeats certain things over and over again that have been seen in cinema before. People claimed that the whole movie was written by cutting and pasting.
That’s like saying “oh my gosh, Crossroads, it’s a blues song, but it has the exact same chord progression as any other blues song.” But that’s the blues! The blues is defined by a set of chord progressions. And then it’s a question of how are you going to use a strict form, maybe to say something different, or maybe to not say anything at all, but just to really, authentically, express the emotion of the blues.
The haunted house in particular, is a very strict parameter of horror. But much horror, and many other genres, like the blues, or for that matter a sonnet, in poetry, have very strict rules. That’s the whole point of them. And the form of your originality is not going to be a question of whether or not you re-invent those things, but rather, can you instill your take on the form with some truth.
DC: Where do you start when creating a script?
AS: Someone once told me that there are only two kinds of stories. It’s either the fish out of water; you as the viewer have been transported to this new place. Or a stranger comes to town. Meaning, we’re the townspeople and something’s coming. That’s one way of looking at every narrative. Certainly one question that I often ask when I’m starting a story is “which perspective am I taking?”
DC:How have you noticed that audience expectations have evolved over the years?
AS: I’ve seen a huge shift in my own lifetime. I was at a prestigious university in the early 80s, and with great ambivalence about the genre, as you could expect. I stuck around for a year [after I graduated] to teach with a guy named Tom Gunney… we were both very passionate about the horror movie, and programmed a series of horror films. There were a couple, that at the time were kind of pushing buttons a bit, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, things like that. But it also had a lot of movies that we had just accepted as classics, films like Psycho.
We were astonished to get a letter from the dean of the college maybe a third of the way through the season, talking about the complaints he had gotten, and saying that he was worried we were risking the artistic and intellectual reputation of the art department by showing this kind of material. What saved it, and we had nothing to do with this, was that a day or two after, that same dean received a letter thanking him for the series from Nobel Prize winner and novelist, Carlos Fuentes, who was an artist in residence that year and was passionate about horror movies. It was a perfect example of how horror films were totally in contention with the point of view of the academics at the time. [They thought] that this was not a legitimate thing to be showing.
One of the interesting discussions that came out of this series was when we showed Psycho, we wanted to put it back into some context. I think it’s hard for people to grasp how astonishingly shocking that movie was. I continue to believe that if you can pick one movie that altogether changes the direction of the genre it would be that one. It was really interesting to pull up all this press material from then about how that movie was reacted to. Again it’s a movie that we take for granted now but it’s a serious artistic and important movie. But again, people are talking about it at the time as if it’s almost pornography. They felt as if it was wrong and absolutely not something to be discussed seriously.
Another change that I’ve noticed is that the horror I’m doing now is for network and cable television. The genre has exploded onto TV. If you would have said to somebody 10 to 20 years ago that the most successful show on television would be about zombies, and that it was a serious show on a serious channel, and that the show would get numbers, they would have said you were crazy.
DC: Why do you think it’s working on television nowadays?
AS: Television, more than movies, is actually our dominant medium for drama right now. I would argue that movies essentially are not a dramatic medium anymore. And I love movies still. But its primarily returned to its roots which was actually a spectacle. Just pure spectacle. Movies were originally developed not to be in theaters but to be on boardwalks and on side shows and in amusement parks. In many ways cinema in the 21st century has returned to that; to huge 3D spectacles and CGI.
Whereas television, has certainly in the last 10 years become the main dramatic medium. And, as Aristotle would remind us, the purpose of drama is precisely to work over and ritually deal with the deepest issues for us. And again, back to Aristotle, the core paradox is: in dark times, a lot of people need dark media. In the heart of the 1930’s Depression you got Busby Berkeley musicals and Fred Austaire, but you also got Dracula and Frankenstein and all of the universal horror movies.
Particularly when times are tough and/or scary, and we’ve now been doing twenty years straight of scary times; starting particularly with 9/11, and then all the craziness after that, and then seven eight years after that you get hit with basically a worldwide depression that, too, really scared the shit out of people. Well yeah, horror is one of the main ways we deal with that. It’s a kind of homeopathy.
DC: What about something more practical? What is your theory on jump scares? How do you imagine them? How do you know when you’re using too many or not enough?
AS: Jump scares are more akin to say what composers and arrangers do, or what music producers and mixers do when they are controlling levels and when they want to achieve a certain climax. A jump scare comes and it goes. Everybody laughs and almost gets humorously angry at the screen. But what’s actually happened is that your physiology has been changed. Your heart rate just changed. The hormones in your body just changed, because someone just scared you.
Now, the next seven minutes, is how long it takes for the adrenaline to slowly return back to its normal levels, and for your heart rate to come back. So now, for the next seven minutes, because you have been scared, the filmmaker has a chance to do different things to you as an audience member, which will be felt differently because of these changes in your body.
DC: Can you offer some practical advice for up and coming writers with regards to just getting started and breaking in? What sort of techniques worked for you?
AS: Well, a lot of what specifically happened in my early career kind of just isn’t possible anymore. It was a specific moment, which I was both the beneficiary of and the victim of in some ways. I started out like almost every filmmaker I was interested in from the previous generation, by getting to go to work for Roger Corman… At the end of [Corman’s career], I was one of the last, and I was arguably the last, in that I got the last theatrical release his films ever had, which was Carnosaur. Brain Dead was also one of his very last theatricals.
The real question is: is there any equivalent today of the Roger Corman School of Filmmaking? There’s a lot of debate about this. A lot of people say that it’s YouTube, and it’s true because the entry cost of making a film now is essentially zero. But, the easier it is to make a movie, historically, the harder it is to get anybody to look at them. Now, anybody can make a movie, but how are you going to be able to get anybody to notice that it’s there?
Alright, Godzilla fans! We're back with another dose of morning madness! Since Legendary's Godzilla was first announced, we've been wondering which cities would crumble as a result of his destructive ways. Now we know one of them for sure!
During our exhaustive daily search to bring you every single little thing coming out of the now shooting in Canada Godzilla flick, we came across the following video, which underscores the fact that Big G is set to trample San Fran! Check it out!
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Richard T. Jones, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn, Patrick Sabongui, Yuki Morita, Brian Markinson, Juliette Binoche, Akira Takarada, Victor Rasuk, and Ken Watanabe star.
Gareth Edwards is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont, and Dave Callaham. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Alex Garcia and Patricia Whitcher are serving as executive producers alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, Godzilla will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd. Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.
Slated to open on May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D.
Ready for your DVR to get even more crowded? More pilot pickup announcements have come our way, and we have all the horror highlights right here for you!
First up is A&E's "Those Who Kill," a serial killer drama based on a Danish series, produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and starring Chloe Sevigny and James D'Arcy. Joe Carnahan directed the pilot from a script by Glen Morgan. It will premiere in 2014.
Next, NBC expands its genre lineup with "Believe," which tells the story of an unlikely relationship that develops between a young girl (Johnny Sequoyah) with a gift and a man (Jake McLaughlin) sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evildoers who covet her power. Harry Potter's Alfonso Cuaron and The Forgotten's Mark Friedman will write and executive produce with "Lost"'s JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk. Kyle MacLachlan, Delroy Lindo, Sienna Guillory, Arian Moayed, and Jamie Chung will also star.
Lastly, The CW adds to its previously ordered "The Originals" with another Julie Plec project: "The Tomorrow People," which is based on the UK series of the same name. It tells the story of several young people from around the world — Peyton List, Robbie Amell, Luke Mitchell, and Aaron Yoo among them — who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers like teleportation and telepathy. They work together to defeat the forces of evil. "Chuck"'s Phil Klemmer will write and executive produce with Plec ("The Vampire Diaries") and Greg Berlanti ("Arrow"). Mark Pellegrino and Madeleine Mantock will also star in the series.
On the more sci-fi side are two projects from The CW we probably won't be covering but have mentioned before: "Star-Crossed," previously known as "Oxygen," an epic romance between a human girl (Aimee Teegarden) and an alien boy (Matt Lanter) when he and eight others of his kind start attending high school in the suburbs, and "The 100," which takes place nearly a century after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing.
A sequel is in the works to writer/director Aleksander Nordaas' modern dark fairy tale Thale, and we have the first info and details for you right here. Besides that, there's never a reason not to have a chance to check out the huldra's tail!
From the Press Release
US-based Epic Pictures Group has announced today that it has partnered up with Norwegian-based Yesbox Productions to finance and produce an English-language sequel to the internationally successful THALE, the mythological suspense thriller which was written and directed by Aleksander Nordaas. The sequel will again be written and directed by Nordaas, with Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson of Epic Pictures Group producing alongside Bendik Heggen Strønstad of Yesbox Productions. The original film played at both Toronto and SXSW last year and became a worldwide hit, having been released in almost 50 countries.
In the original Norwegian film, two crime scene cleaners discover a mythical, tailed female creature in a concealed cellar. She never utters a word, unable to tell her story, but the pieces of the puzzle soon come together: She's been held captive for decades for reasons soon to surface. THALE is based on a mythical character in Nordic folklore called the "huldra." According to the myth, a huldra is a beautiful creature with female attributes living deep in the woods. It is said that it seduces men that work in the woods by humming a beautiful song, and they never return to their village. You can recognize a huldra by its cow tail.
"Ever since we screened THALE in Toronto and released it in the US, there's been a continuous stream of inquiries from fans, eager to know if there will ever be a sequel - and now, teaming up with Epic Pictures Group, we're finally able to announce that yes, there will be! In English for an international audience. And let's just say that this time, Thale will be facing some very different kinds of animals,” said Nordaas.
Producer Bendik Heggen Strønstad of Yesbox Productions: “Epic Pictures has been a great partner on the first film, and we are thrilled to have them on board as producers on the sequel. It's vital for us to be producing this sequel with someone who wants to pursue the style and tone in Thale, and with Aleksander L. Nordaas still on board as scriptwriter and director, all premises are in place to kick it up a notch - while still preserving the signature."
Producer Patrick Ewald of Epic Pictures Group: "The English language version of THALE will be a co-production with our Norwegian friends aimed at a worldwide audience. We will be increasing the budget and look of the film so that Aleksander and Bendik's vision can be accomplished on a grand scale. We are incredibly excited to be working with such talented filmmakers and look forward to creating a film filled with scares, laughs, and pure entertainment. Soon kids around the world will be looking under their beds to see if they have a huldra hiding under there."
Producer Shaked Berenson of Epic Pictures Group: "From the moment we saw the film at SXSW in 2012, we were taken by the film and its powerful vision and knew that we needed to work with Aleksander and Bendik and help to get their next project produced and financed."
And the list of cast members in David Cronenberg's upcoming Maps to the Stars has grown by three as Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, and newcomer Evan Bird have all signed on to the project.
Per Variety, Bird has been cast as a troubled, drug-addicted child star. Williams (pictured below; The Seventh Son, "Dollhouse," The Sixth Sense) will play his manipulative mother, and Wasikowska (pictured right; Stoker, Alice in Wonderland, Only Lovers Left Alive) will portray his disfigured schizophrenic, fame-obsessed sister.
They join the previously announced Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, and Sarah Gadon. The screenplay is by Bruce Wagner (Wild Palms) and is a combo ghost story and critique of celebrity-obsessed society in Los Angeles.
Entertainment One Films and Martin Katz’s Prospero Pictures are producing with production starting in July in Toronto and Los Angeles. Sentient Entertainment's Renee Tab, Cronenberg's manager, will executive produce with Integral Films’ Alfred Hurmer co-producing.
eOne will directly distribute Maps to the Stars in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia/NZ and is launching foreign sales next week at Cannes.
Look for more soon!