Darren Lynn Bousman is building a new kind of horror with Abattoir, which will also screen at the forthcoming FrightFest this August.
How do you build a haunted house? The enigmatic Jebediah Crone knows how.
“Abattoir centers on a real estate reporter who unearths an urban legend about a house being built from rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred. The investigation ultimately leads to the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the answer to the terrifying question, ‘How do you build a haunted house?’ ”
Bloody Disgusting’s Kalyn Corrigan caught the World Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and wrote in her review:
‘Abattoir’ makes a name for itself for its premise alone, which separates it from nearly anything else in mainstream horror right now. It’s a terrific little idea that if executed correctly, could spans several sequels, as the house allows for many different types of backgrounds to be explored, and future rooms to be filled.
Dayton Callie, Joe Anderson (Hercules), Jessica Lowndes (Altitude, Autopsy) and Lin Shaye (Insidious) also star.
Bousman shot Abattoir in New Orleans from a script by Christopher Monfette.
We’ve moved in next door to Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s latest genre offering, The Neighbor, a crime thriller that reunites them with The Collector producers Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizotti, and star Josh Stewart.
The Neighbor, directed by Dunstan from a screenplay he co-wrote with Melton, is a crime thriller set in Mississippi where a man who discovers the dark truth about his secretive neighbor and what, or who, he may be keeping in the cellar.
When can you see it? Thankfully you won’t be waiting long as Anchor Bay has dated it for On Demand and Digital HD on September 6, 2016.
Check out the trailer that we’ve just added below!
Josh Stewart, who also starred in the duo’s The Collection, leads with Melissa Bolona (Shark Lake), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Bill Engvall, Ronnie Blevins (Fear, Inc, Seven Psychopaths), Jaqueline Fleming and Luke Edwards (“True Detective”).
“In the town of Cutter, most people keep to themselves. But when John comes home to find his girlfriend missing, he sneaks into his neighbor’s house, finding his girlfriend and several other kidnapped people tied up in the basement. When the neighbor come home, John is forced to get out of the house alive and lead the group to safety.”
Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield executive produce with Jason Egan and Tony Sygo.
Almost a year ago, we heard rumblings that CW was actively pursuing a TV adaptation of Friday the 13th, the long-running slasher franchise that created iconic killer Jason Voorhees. However, just a few months ago news broke that the idea seemed to have drowned before making it to the dock.
While for many people this was a welcome bit of news, others were left wondering, “What if?” For the latter, today gives you a little bit of campfire light through the trees* as sources have told FridayThe13thFranchise that CW is simply putting the series on hold and plans to revisit the idea next April. The site also explains that if not story is agreed upon, the show could potentially move to other networks, including larger streaming services.
Looks like we’re going to have to simply wait until next year to get an update.
*These references doing anything for ya?
For those who have been following along, The Tension Experience appeared out of nowhere and promised an interactive horror experience like no other. And they quickly lived up to their word when they plunged me into a paranoia-fueled odyssey that has gone on almost daily for the past 5 months.
Part haunt, part ARG/immersive theatre, and part psyche experiment, Tension is the closest thing to living out a horror movie, and the number of things I’ve experienced could easily fill an entire Stephen King novel.
But everything has been a warm-up act for the main event – ASCENSION – and tickets are finally on sale for the full experience, which begins this September in Los Angeles.
I still have no idea what to expect from Ascension, but the website does a good job laying out the bullet points:
– The Tension Experience is a fear-based paranoia, immersive production that will require you to make a series of decisions that will dictate the evening’s outcome. Ascension is only for guests 18 years or older.
– The entire evening will be over two hours once you enter and are checked in.
– Tension will blur the lines between reality and fiction. We will use actors, emails, phone calls, live video streams, in-person events, and just about every other avenue to get inside your head.
And if you’re hesitant because you missed out on the previous events, Tension assures that Ascension exists as its own narrative and has even posted a handy Timeline giving a broad overview of everything that’s happened thus far.
So what the hell are you waiting for? Join us… if you’re brave enough.
The OOA Institute would encourage those interested in taking the path to enlightenment to visit The Tension Experience website, “like” The Tension Experience on Facebook, and follow The Tension Experience on Twitter and on Instagram.
The post The Tension Experience: Ascension – Tickets on Sale Now! appeared first on Dread Central.
Lights Out will be bringing screams to U.S. theaters beginning July 22nd, and to go along with our exclusive clip, we have a couple more for you to chew on!
David F. Sandberg directs the film from a screenplay by Eric Heisserer, based on Sandberg’s own short film. James Wan produces alongside Lawrence Grey, Eric Heisserer, and executive producers Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, Richard Brener, Michael Clear, Jack Murray, and Ben Everard.
From producer James Wan (The Conjuring) and Lawrence Grey’s Grey Matter comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out… and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety.
A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger… once the lights go out.
Dread Central reader David K. brought the following trailer to our attention, which is being passed off by its maker as a teaser for Friday the 13th Part 2 (2017). Check it out as it’s definitely well made and… well… it’s Friday so it seems appropriate!
As for the actual film itself, producer Brad Fuller recently noted that, as previously rumored, Jason’s return will be a period piece.
“The story takes place between the late 1970s and the early 1980s,” he said, referring to writer Aaron Guzikowski’s script. “There is a summer camp, and there are camp counselors.”
The new film is on the fast track, but don’t expect it on the upcoming Friday the 13th in January 2017.
“That decision will be made by Paramount, and I’m sure they will announce a release date soon – whether it’s the Friday the thirteenth date in October 2017, or another date altogether,” said Fuller. “Things are moving very fast, and we all know that these films can be filmed and then released very quickly. We’re now looking for a director and hope to start filming soon.”
The post Fan-Made Friday the 13th Part 2 Trailer Hits Our Happy Buttons appeared first on Dread Central.
Composer Cris Velasco is going to be presenting “Wunderkammer”, a solo exhibition of the works of noted filmmaker and author Clive Barker at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA this August.
Additionally, there will be another smaller exhibition titled “From The Depths”, which is a collection of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired pieces from artists such as Chet Zar, Menton 3, Laurie Brom, and a whole slew of other amazing people.
The exhibition runs from Saturday, August 6th through August 27th.
Velasco is the composer of such games as Bloodborne, Borderlands 2, Mortal Kombat 9, Darksiders, and Clive Barker’s Jericho.
Written by the co-writers of Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI and The Collector, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, and directed by Dunstan, the suspense thriller The Neighbor aims to remind that you should probably fear the creepy dude living next to you. He may be a vampire or a serial killer, but either way, he wants to kill you.
Check out the trailer below!
The Neighbor arrives on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Fortress Features, and Salt Company International Production and on Digital HD and On Demand from Starz Digital on September 6th.
Josh Stewart (The Collector), Melissa Bolona (Shark Lake), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Bill Engvall, Ronnie Blevins (Fear, Inc., Seven Psychopaths), Jaqueline Fleming, and Luke Edwards (“True Detective”) star.
Set in Mississippi, The Neighbor centers on a man who discovers the dark truth about his secretive neighbor and what, or whom, he may be keeping in the cellar.
In the small town of Cutter, Mississippi, most people keep to themselves. But when John (Stewart) comes home to find his girlfriend, Rosie (Essoe), missing, he suspects his mysterious and off-putting neighbor (Engvall) is somehow involved. John learns that Rosie’s life is not all that is at stake after a visit to his neighbor’s cellar. It becomes clear that the seemingly quiet town is more dangerous than it looks, and John and Rosie must do more than just run away if they want to survive the night.
Ready for another tease of what awaits us when “The Exorcist” TV series debuts on Fox in September? Then read on for the latest promo video!
“The Exorcist” (airing Fridays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, on Fox) premieres on September 23rd; it is a contemporary psychological TV thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of terrifying demonic possession. Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), the series stars Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis (“Commander in Chief,” Thelma & Louise), Alfonso Herrera (“Sense8,” The Chosen), and Ben Daniels (“Flesh and Bone,” “House of Cards”).
About “The Exorcist”:
“THE EXORCIST” is a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. FATHER TOMAS ORTEGA (Alfonso Herrera) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious, and compassionate. He runs a small but loyal parish in the suburbs of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, another priest finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. FATHER MARCUS BRENNAN (Ben Daniels) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive, and utterly consumed by his sacred mission.
Caught in the middle is the RANCE family, members of Tomas’ parish. On the surface they’re a normal, suburban family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, HENRY RANCE (guest star Alan Ruck), is slowly but surely losing his mind. Eldest daughter KATHERINE (Brianne Howey) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room. Her younger sister, CASEY (Hannah Kasulka), thinks she’s hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother ANGELA (Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis) has been plagued by recurring nightmares, each more frightening than the last. Angela believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the naïve young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the only hope against an evil force that has been mobilizing for centuries.
Everyone is afraid of the dark and that’s what she feeds on. On July 22nd, don’t turn the Lights Out!
From producer James Wan (The Conjuring) comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. We now have two more clips that are as good as the last; one is absolutely frightening, while the other delivers a quality jump scare. Lights Out is looking insanely fun!
“When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.”
Here’s a bit from Kalyn Corrigan’s review out of the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere:
“Director David F. Sandberg actually understands how to send chills down an audience’s spine. His charcoal figure who basks in the darkness creates a petrifying atmosphere whenever she appears onscreen. Her crooked movements stand out like a stutter as she walks stiffly down the hall, making her appear less and less human every time she pops up in a quiet corner, or a whispers evil instructions from within a pitch black closet.”
Palmer, Alexander DiPersia and Gabriel Bateman topline Lights Out, which is produced by James Wan, best known for Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring.
David F. Sandberg directed from a screenplay by Eric A. Heisserer’s (The Thing, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Final Destination 5), which was based on Sandberg’s 2013 short film that went viral.
Catfish duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who are also behind the upcoming Nerve starring Dave Franco, will see the release of Viral on DVD August 2 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Radius-TWC and Dimension Films and on Digital HD July 29 and On Demand August 2 from Starz Digital.
Penned by Barbara Marshall, Viral centers on two sisters, Emma (Sofia Black D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton), whose humdrum lives in a suburban neighborhood are upended when their county is gripped by a parasitic virus. They find themselves quarantined and must fight to survive as others around them become infected.
Check out this clip from inside a party where an infected partygoer is spotted through a door’s peephole.
This week has seen three new character posters for Rob Zombie’s upcoming horror film 31, all of which can be found through our 31 tag. Today, we can scratch that number and bump it up to four as a new poster featuring Sheri Moon Zombie’s “Charly” has just come out. You can see it below.
“Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.”
31 stars Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), Golden Globe Nominee Malcolm McDowell (“Mozart in the Jungle”, A Clockwork Orange), Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem) and Meg Foster (The Lords of Salem).
Zombie has been fighting to have this movie released to the public for a long time. He went through a strong crowdfunding campaign only to be hit twice with the dreaded NC-17 rating, which would’ve severely restricted the viewing potential. After some edits, it got dropped to an R-rating, but Zombie assures we’ll see an uncut version. The new edit still bears all the earmarks of a Rob Zombie film, as it features, “…strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.”
The film is going to be released on VOD platforms on September 16th and in limited theaters on October 21st via Saban Films.
Today saw the kickoff of “Star Wars Celebration” in London and the event brought with it a new poster and sizzle reel for the upcoming standalone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, both of which can be seen below.
“Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With the aid of the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.”
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and starring Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, and with James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader, Rogue One soars into theaters on December 16th.
About a week ago Marcel Walz and I chatted about his upcoming Blood Feast remake. Today I talk with the film’s star, Robert Rusler, who plays Fuad Ramses, the man with plans to host the Blood Feast.
Fuad Ramses and his family have moved from the United States to France, where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture. During these long, lonely nights he becomes allured by goddess Ishtar as she speaks to him in visions. Eventually he succumbs to her deadly charms. After this pivotal night, Fuad begins a new life, in which murder and cannibalism become his daily bread. As butchered bodies are heaped upon the Altar of Ishtar, Fuad slowly slips further into madness, until he is no more than the goddess’s puppet…
Bloody Disgusting: Blood Feast is a pretty iconic horror film being essentially the first “splatter” film. Were you familiar with Herschell Gordon Lewis’ original film before taking on this role? If so, did you look at Mal Arnold’s portrayal of Ramses for inspiration?
Robert Rusler: Yes, I remember seeing the original Blood Feast when I was a young boy at a Saturday matinee in Downton LA with my Grandpa. We used to love watching horror movies together. Blood Feast was playing with The Abominable Dr. Phibes and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. In those days you could see 3 movies for about $3.00 a person and kids were free with an adult. I remember not being prepared for the graphic blood and nudity. But loved it anyway. I did re-watch the film again when I got the offer to play Fuad Ramses and was definitely inspired by Mal Arnold’s performance in the original. As an actor, I knew right away that this was an opportunity to play homage to his portrayal, and also to give the character a fresh personal approach based on my creative ideas, along with the direction of the sharp minded Marcel Walz.
BD: What attracted you to the role?
RR: I loved the mindset of Fuad. I was inspired to delve in to his passion for what he believes is his personal salvation. Fuad’s obsession with the Goddess Ishtar could lead him to committing acts that he never deemed possible for himself. Love will make a man do anything it takes, in order to get what his soul desires.
BD: The film is very gory and you’re in the center of that action getting your hands dirty. Is that something you enjoy in a role?
RR: Absolutely. I like that the blood and violence in this film are never gratuitous. There is a reason Fuad is willing to shed blood. And the method to his madness, he believes in his heart and soul are righteous. As an actor, I’m down to shock the audience in a way that they can vicariously put themselves in the character’s situation and circumstances. Hopefully it will make a lasting impression on them like the many killer horror movie characters did for me throughout my many years as a horror fan.
BD: When people sit down to watch Blood Feast, what is your hope? What do you want them to take away from the viewing?
RR: I want them to empathize with all the characters. I want the audience to feel what Fuad feels in the justification of his madness. I also want them to feel what the family and the victims of his wrath feel, so that it may haunt them in their dreams. Fuad and I are sick and demented like that!
BD: You’ve had quite the career and you’ve appeared in a number of horror films. Is horror a genre you have a preference for?
RR: Hell yes! I love horror movies. I adore horror fans and I plan on always looking for future roles to play, where I can stretch and challenge myself creatively in order to scare the shit out of people who love horror as much as I do! Horror Fans Rule!
BD: What’s next for Robert Rusler? Any projects outside of Blood Feast fans should be on the lookout for?
RR: I have a few films coming out. Another horror film I’m appearing in along with Dina Meyer, David Lipper and Lance Henriksen is entitled ‘The Unwilling,’ which is directed by another very talented director by the name of Jonathan Heap…Gonna be dope! I’m starting production on a film next month in Mississippi. (More will be revealed soon) And I will be back on Showtime’s hit show ‘Ray Donovan’ next season!
But what I really want the fans to be on the lookout for, are the many projects that I plan to produce and direct under my Production Company ENTERTAINMENT PLAYGROUND. I have been writing and preparing for many years, in order to share my own stories and talents with the world. I have a ton of support from the many friends and colleagues I’ve accumulated over the 33 year span of my career! Oh…and of course, I want the fans to get ready for….BLOOD FEAST 2!!! Muhuhuhuhuhahahahaha!!!!!!!!
Yesterday saw a lot of new information come out regarding Stephen King’s novel-to-film adaptation of The Dark Tower, the dark fantasy Western that saw the first book come out in 1982 and has since seen seven further entries.
Today, several images have been released and they take you into the midst of Mid-World, the setting for Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba), aka “The Gunslinger”, and Walter o’Dim (played by Matthew McConaughey), “The Man in Black”. You can check out all the images so far released below, courtesy of EW.
“Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.”
The film will also star Fran Kranz, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbey Lee, and Kathryn Wiggins.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel and produced by Akiva Goldman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Erica Hughes, The Dark Tower will be released on February 17th, 2017.
The Tension Experience is finally arriving after months of underground hype.
This alleged new haunt/immersive theater/ARG event is opening to the public – and tickets are now on sale.
In the last few months, those whom have been involved have been thrust into a world much like David Fincher’s The Game; phone calls, strange emails, and in person events.
A trailer accompanies the ticket sale launch, which we hope Bloody Disgusting readers will attend and report back about. We are dying to know what the heck this is…
THE TENSION EXPERIENCE: ASCENSION is a fully immersive, site specific-journey of trust, betrayal and submission.
We invite you to enter the doors of the O.O.A. Institute, a mysterious organization that promises enlightenment, but at what cost? Nothing is quite what it seems and something sinister lurks behind every welcoming smile.
Participants deemed worthy enough to be permitted inside will discover fervent disciples, tasks that probe and chronicle the darkest recesses of their mind, and, sometimes, unexplainable terror.
Individual decisions will reveal whether this is a true path to enlightenment or merely an elaborate trap set by a dangerous cult.
Ascension is more than immersive theatre, more than a haunted house, and more than anything you could possibly imagine. It is a journey into darkness with the possibility of being reborn in the light.
You will be processed, tried and tested. But only if you succeed, may you find…
The 1987 vampire horror/comedy film The Lost Boys has seen two direct-to-video sequels and Corey Feldman, who played Edgar Frog in the franchise, recently spoke about his distaste for The Lost Girls, which isn’t anywhere near being a confirmed thing. However, his comments rekindled interest in seeing a return to Santa Carla, a venture that Vertigo Comics has announced they will be undertaking.
The comic publisher has announced that they are releasing a sequel to the film in comic book form later this year (the first issue drops October 12th, to be exact) with writing from Tim Heeley and art from Scott Godlewski and Patricia Mulvihill. The covers will be done by Tony Harris.
Santa Carla, California, is on edge. The eccentric coastal town and haven for the undead was finally returning to “normal” after its last supernatural scuffle left the local vampire coven’s leader dead and gave newcomers Michael and Sam Emerson a housewarming both violent and bizarre. Now the brothers must once again team up with militant vampire hunters Edgar and Allan Frog as a new gang of ruthless, stunning, life-sucking nightcrawlers known as the Blood Belles emerges from the aftermath to collect Michael’s love interest and their lost sister, Star.
Below are some pages from the comic, although they don’t have text.
This weekend is supposed to be muggy, hot, rainy and gross, which means you’re going to need an excuse to stay indoors. Thanks to Netflix, there’s more than one reason.
The streaming service has been updated with so many good pieces of genre entertainment that you’re going to have an issue deciding what to watch first.Stranger Things
The highly obvious one: “Stranger Things”, their Amblin-esque Spielbergian new series that sort of feels like a feature version of the new video game “Inside”. Watch the first 8-minutes of the show here. A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, “Stranger Things” is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. It’s as if they put Super 8 in a blender with Goonies, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Oh, it stars Winona Ryder and a terrible wig. The kids steal the show and are the most likable since The Goonies.Rebirth
Another Netflix original is Rebirth, which reminds us of The Game. “Get up. Go to work. Come home, dinner, bed, do it all again. That’s life, every day, every year, until you die — unless you’ve got what it takes to be reborn. Rebirth gives a new lease on life, but only if you’re willing to pay the price.” Netflix’s cast for Karl Mueller’s Rebirth features Fran Kranz, from Cabin in the Woods, as well as Adam Goldberg, Kat Foster, Nicky Whelan, Harry Hamlin, Andrew J West, Sheryl Lee, Pat Healy, Eric Ladin, Luis Geardo Méndez and Steve Agee.Ghostheads
“Ghostheads” is another new film to debut today, exclusively on Netlix. Superfans of the monster 1984 hit Ghostbusters indulge their passion by gearing up, congregating at conventions and even doing charity work. I hope it’s as good as the Back to the Future doc from earlier this year. Brendan Mertens directs the doc that features Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Tom Gerhardt, Paul Feig, and Peter Mosen.Darling
Mickey Keating’s Darling, a psychological horror story that stars up-and-coming genre titan Lauren Ashley Carter (Pod, Jug Face, The Mind’s Eye), is also now streaming.
“Darling begins as a lonely young woman (Lauren Ashley Carter) moves into an old, mysterious Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, it’s not long before she discovers the estate’s haunted reputation and troubling past. These stories slowly transform into a backdrop for her twisted and violent descent into madness…”Holidays (2016)
A collaboration of some of Hollywood’s most distinct voices, the directors include Kevin Smith (Tusk, Yoga Hosers), Gary Shore (Dracula Untold), Scott Stewart (Dark Skies), Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes), Sarah Adina Smith (The Midnight Swim), Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate) and Anthony Scott Burns (Darknet). Read our review here.
The King Kong franchise has been rebooted with Kong: Skull Island, which is the film that sets up both the Kong and Godzilla universe.
Ahead of the San Diego Comic-Con next week, EW shared the first picture from the film that shows Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson exploring a boneyard. In the background is the biggest skull I’ve ever seen, and it’s not from a dinosaur…
Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed the feature that also stars John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Thomas Mann and John Ortiz.
Plot details are being kept secret but the film is based on the premise of a team of explorers venturing on an island inhabited by GIANT monsters.
“From the size of the skull, you can tell that things on this island are much bigger than audiences are used to with traditional Kong lore,” says Vogt-Roberts. “Our Kong is by far the biggest Kong that you’ve seen on screen, and that translates to a lot of different things on the island.”
Vogt-Roberts has studied the earlier films closely. When asked for clarification, he starts listing size estimates. “In terms of actual size, our Kong is by far the biggest Kong,” he explains. “Peter Jackson’s Kong was around 25 feet. The ‘33 Kong ranged between 25 feet and 50 feet, I want to say he was 50-plus feet when he was on the Empire State Building. He varied in size dramatically! The ’70s Kong was somewhere between them.”
Speaking of, Kong: Skull Island is period, and takes place in the 1790’s.
“The film takes place in the ’70s,” he continued. “The ’70s was a time where it was believable that we could still be confronted with myth. And there was still unknown in the world.” At the start of the decade, NASA launched a satellite program later known as LANDSAT, which involved satellites mapping the world from space – the end of that “unknown.” In the film, “this island pops up,” leading the characters to investigate.
On Hiddleston’s role and changing the character’s arcs:
Hiddleston plays an ex-British SAS tracker; Larson is a war photographer, “who’s seen all sorts of terrible, terrible things.” Vogt-Roberts avoids any specific details about what they find on the island, but he’s adamant about what they don’t find. “We’re very explicitly not telling the beauty and the beast story,” he says. “The original is a classic, the ’70s version is great for what it is, and Peter’s version is a great retelling of the 1933 film.”
On the new mythology of King Kong and becoming a God.
Instead, ‘Skull Island’ digs into the mythos of Kong’s homeland. And a key part of that mythos is, well, size. “The thing that most interested me was, how big do you need to make [Kong], so that when someone lands on this island and doesn’t believe in the idea of myth, the idea of wonder – when we live in a world of social and civil unrest, and everything is crumbling around us, and technology and facts are taking over – how big does this creature need to be, so that when you stand on the ground and you look up at it, the only thing that can go through your mind is: ‘That’s a god.’” Pretty big, we’re guessing? “You will see when we drop a trailer,” Vogt-Roberts teases.
Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters on March 10, 2017, followed by Godzilla 2 on March 22, 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong on May 29, 2020.
Directed by Paul Feig
Ghostbusters spends its first half feeling like it’s about to get good any minute. It never does, however, and that’s because director Paul Feig squanders his cast at every opportunity.
Remaking one of the most cherished and creative films of the 1980s isn’t an enviable undertaking, and Feig proves ill-equipped for the job. This remake covers much of the same ground as Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original, disappearing into its predecessor’s shadow fairly early on. It’s bland, occasionally funny, but often boring. At the end of the day, it’s almost impossible to believe that, after 27 years, this was the best Ghostbusters idea the studio could come up with.
It’s a bummer, too, because Feig’s cast seems game. If you’re going to remake Ghostbusters, it’s probably a wise idea to get as far away from the original characters as possible. Nobody wants to see another actor step into the Peter Venkman role, for example, and using a female cast helps keep comparisons even further at bay. Kristen Wiig is this team’s “leader,” but instead of Bill Murray’s smirking sardonicism, she’s straight-laced and socially awkward. The movie’s strongest scenes belong to its first act, which is built around shredding her credibility as a college professor gunning for tenure.
The foundation of the film is Wiig’s estranged friendship with Melissa McCarthy, and at first this relationship seems like it’s going to drive the story. The problem is that it’s abandoned after the first act, with a small bit of closure thrown in at the end. Sadly, McCarthy feels the most restrained by the PG-13 rating, managing a handful of giggles and little else.
Leslie Jones is quite good as the non-scientist of the group. She’s got the best throwaway lines, although you’d never know it from the trailers. For some reason, Sony marketing hand-plucked her worst moments and placed them front and center in every piece of advertising. She fares much better in the actual film.
Kate McKinnon is a little one-note as the resident weirdo/genius, but she also creates a character whose oddity increases as the movie goes on. Because of this, McKinnon’s Holtzmann is probably the most memorable of the new Ghostbusters. She’s also the one who develops this team’s ghost-catching tech, which comes in far more varieties this time. I liked the additions here, even if the Ghostbusters are no longer required to catch/contain ghosts because these weapons enable them to somehow “kill” that which is already dead.
That’s kind of a problem, though, because the technology was bound by interior rules and logic in the first movie. Those same rules are applied here to start, but Feig, along with co-writer Kate Dippold, seems to disregard them in the climax simply because their big action sequence doesn’t support them.
Without a doubt, the worst part of Ghostbusters is its villain. He’s the worst kind of generic. An uninteresting nerd tired of being ground down by the world, he decides to unleash an armada of ghosts to purge mankind. The original film had the benefit of unfolding around Dan Aykroyd’s wonderfully wonky mythology. The world of Ivo Shandor, Zuul, and Gozer might’ve been paired back from his original concept, but it feels realized and appropriately threatening.
This movie looks expensive and many of the ghosts are nifty-looking, but Feig doesn’t stage action particularly well. It’s not surprising to anyone who saw The Heat, a funny enough movie that never became the successful fusion of action and comedy it wanted to. When it was announced that Feig would take the helm of the new Ghostbusters, I envisioned this movie unfolding almost exactly this way. It’s fairly inert, climaxing with hundreds of ghosts swirling through Times Square in a sequence that should’ve been a showstopper but instead feels low stakes and small.
To be fair, one wouldn’t have assumed the director of Meatballs would’ve been the best fit for a supernatural comedy, but Reitman rose to the occasion whereas Feig succumbs to his worst instincts as a director.
By now everyone knows the surviving members of the original cast have cameos here. After seeing how worthless they are, it bummed me out that they weren’t brought back as their original characters. I know that Feig felt he had to start over in order to “sell” the concept of ghost exterminators, but that’s nonsense. With the slightest bit of retooling, this could’ve been made into a loose sequel. And while it’s nice seeing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver on screen again, it’s a missed opportunity.
Ghostbusters is hardly the disaster its detractors want it to be, and it’s far from the hilarious comedy many people are trying to sell it as. Yes, it’s got some chuckles, many of them front-loaded, but it falls short of having any real belly laughs. It also loses steam rather quickly, meaning it isn’t likely to have much lasting impact. I’m already struggling to recall large swaths of it, and I got back from seeing it a few hours ago.
At the end of the day, there was always going to be another Ghostbusters movie. It’s just too bad this one is completely uninspired. The four ladies do what they can with the material, but even they can’t rise above the mediocrity of everything else. It squanders its funny cast, embarrasses itself with useless cameos, and pales in comparison to Ivan Reitman’s classic. So what’s the point?